I wrote this for my persuasive speech in my English class a week ago:
My fellow classmates, if someone asked you who the greatest basketball player of all time is, what would you say? Most of you would say Michael Jordan, right? But I am trying to convince you that LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all time. LeBron’s overall athleticism, versatility, clutch playoff performances, and his lack of a supporting cast in Cleveland all shows that LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all time.
I’ll start with Lebron’s athleticism and versatility. LeBron James is the most imposing physical presence and talent in all of sports. LeBron James stands at 6 foot 8 inches and weighs close to 300 pounds with only 5% body fat. The average NBA player can cover the length of the court in 13 strides; LeBron can go cross-court in only 9 steps. LeBron has also been timed at running over 20 miles per hour which is as fast as NBA speedster Chris Paul. When passing, LeBron can get off a 40 mile per hour pass in 0.18 seconds, while the average NFL quarterback can throw a pass at .40 seconds. From 35 feet away, LeBron can hit his target faster than Tom Brady can hit his receiver from the same distance. LeBron also has an un-blockable jump shot where he releases it at over 9 feet of the ground. If a 6’9’’ defender is 3 feet away, he can’t even get a hand within a foot of the ball. This uncontestable shot is one of the reasons his catch and shoot percentage this year is at 64% higher than his teammate and the greatest pure shooter of all time, Ray Allen. The average NBA center is 6’10 with a 32 inch vertical having a range of 3600 cubic feet. LeBron is 6’8 with a 44 inch vertical giving him a range of 4100 cubic feet. This athleticism makes him the most versatile player in the league with the ability to play any position at a high level. When Michael Jordan played, he could only impact the game by scoring. Because of Lebron’s athleticism, he can impact the game in so many ways other than scoring, such as distributing the ball, grabbing rebounds, and playing defense.
We’ll now take a look at LeBron and Michael Jordan’s stats at the age of 28, which is LeBron James’ current age. I’ll start with regular season stats. Lebron has 21,081 points while MJ had 16,596 points, Lebron has 5,553 rebounds while MJ had 3186. LeBron also has 5,302 assists and MJ had only 3018. Lebron also has 4 MVPs, 9 all star appearances and was named all NBA 1st team 7 times all at the age of 28. Jordan had 2 MVPS, 7 all star appearances and was named all NBA 1st team just 5 times. In their post season appearances by the age of 28, Lebron has Jordan beat in every stat. LeBron was never eliminated from the playoffs while Jordan was 3 times. Lebron had 3712 points, 1133 rebounds, and 885 assists in the playoffs while MJ had 2425 points, 476 rebounds, and 497 assists. They each had 1 championship and 1 finals MVP, and LeBron is currently taking on the Spurs in the finals trying to win his second championship.
One of the biggest misconceptions in basketball is when people say that LeBron James isn’t clutch. He is actually the opposite of that, and is very clutch. Over his career, Michael Jordan was 9-18, or 50% on clutch playoff shots which is a shot with less than 24 seconds remaining to take the lead or tie the game. LeBron James is 7-16 or 44% on those shots in his career. Lebron and Jordan are two of the most clutch performers of all time, and you can compare their percentages to Kobe’s career percentage of 26. Those two legends make Kobe look average. LeBron has had countless clutch playoff performances such as when he scored the final 25 points of the game for his team to beat the Pistons in the eastern conference finals. In this game, he also hit the shot to send the game into overtime and then hit the game-winner in overtime. Since the 2006 postseason, only 4 times has a player scored at least 30 points with a triple double. All four of those players were LeBron James. LeBron James and Oscar Robertson are the only players ever to accomplish that stat 4 times. LeBron James now has 10 playoff triple doubles which is 3rd all time and higher than Michael Jordan. One of the best playoff buzzer beaters of all time was when LeBron hit the game winning 3 against Orlando in the playoffs.
When LeBron played in Cleveland, he had no supporting cast. But when Michael Jordan was in Chicago, he had one of the best supporting casts in all of the NBA. LeBron played with Mo Williams, Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas as his main supporting cast. Between those 4 players, they combined for only 2 all star appearances. Jordan had Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant, and BJ Armstrong. Between those 4 players, there are 2 hall of famers in Pippen and Rodman, and 11 all star appearances. LeBron carried the Cavaliers to the finals in 2007, and carried that team every year. Jordan had help in Chicago. LeBron’s last year in Cleveland, the Cavs were 61-21 and had the #1 seed. The next year without LeBron, the Cavs went 19-63 and had the worst record in the league. Michael Jordan’s last year with the Bulls, they went 57-25 and had the #2 seed. The next year without Jordan, the Bulls went 55-27 and had the #3 seed.
I think I have provided you with enough evidence to prove that LeBron James is the greatest basketball player in NBA history. All the evidence provided shows that he is better than Michael Jordan, and will continue to add to his resume for the rest of his career, and by the time he retires, will be considered the greatest of all time even though he already is.