Michael Jordan’s Strategy Against LeBron Revealing


Have you ever heard the quote…“To be the best you have to beat the best“? Boxer Buster Douglas accomplished that feat when he beat Mike Tyson, however Douglas soon found out that being the best harbours a special obligation to keep proving it. Subsequently he lost his very next fight to Evander Holyfield.

That special obligation is now in the hands of LeBron James. Upon winning his first championship coupled with numerous MVP’s, Lebron’s all-time ranking is rising in the eyes of many. Some are even offering comparison questions to Michael Jordan – widely considered the best basketball player ever. I’m sure you’ve heard at least one of these:

Who’s better MJ or LJ?
Could Lebron’s defensive ability make Jordan struggle offensively?
Who would win a 1-one-1 matchup?

The latter even sparked his airness to respond. Jordan: “I study him. When LeBron goes right, he usually drives; when he goes left, he usually shoots a jumper. It has to do with his mechanics and how he loads the ball for release. So if I have to guard him, I’m gonna push him left so nine times out of 10, he’s gonna shoot a jump shot. If he goes right, he’s going to the hole and I can’t stop him. So I ain’t letting him go right.”

Jordan’s strategy came to fruition. The opportunist Kobe Bryant used it to success in the All-Star Game blocking Lebron’s jumper
from the top of the key with 2:39 left – finishing with two blocks holding James to 0-for-4 in fourth quarter. His strategy also reveals the difference between Jordan and Lebron: The cerebral aspect. LeBron strikes me as an intellectual weakling to Jordan. MJ was simply a smarter basketball player. Even in his retirement he’s still strategizing against players as if he were playing.

On the 1-on-1 matchup, I’ll admit LeBron’s height advantage at 6’8″ and leaping ability would make Jordan struggle more to shoot, but Jordan’s quickness and creativity offensively would overcome it. Lebron’s offensive game is not creative. Jordan’s strategy reveals its simplistic approach. While I know many are enamoured with comparisons of greats to future greats but in this case it doesn’t compute. It was however great to see Jordan play defense against Lebron without physically playing defense.


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