Ask the Czar

Bongo from Boston wants to know:

What similarities and differences, if any, do you see between Michael Jordan and LeBron James after their first seven years in the league?

As for similarities, both LeBron James and Michael Jordan proved to be resilient athletes who were able to withstand the physical demands of the league. They took a pounding night in and night out and still performed at an extraordinary level. LeBron missed just under four games per season on average. And outside of the year Michael broke his foot, he missed only one regular season game during the first seven years of his career.

Both Jordan and James got to the foul line a lot because of their fearless driving abilities. And both high flyers took flight wearing Nike. Neither was afraid to be a vocal leader. And both were voted NBA Most Valuable Player twice in seven years.

Though Jordan and James entered the league with reputations of not being the greatest of shooters, they got better each year and became capable of leading the league in scoring. However Jordan held the title for a whopping ten years. With sharp shooters like Kevin Durant in the mix, it will be tough for LeBron to touch that record, especially now that he’ll be giving up shots to help teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh get shots.

There are some other differences: Jordan won the NBA Slam Dunk competition twice and even entered the NBA Three-Point Shootout though people said he didn’t have any range on his shot; LeBron has yet to participate in these All-Star Weekend events. Jordan was still with the Bulls after seven years while LeBron is no longer with the Cavs. Jordan won an NBA Championship in his seventh year and LeBron is still seeking his first. Then again, Jordan had Steve Kerr as a teammate and LeBron does not.

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