LeBron James and Michael Jordan are players that are destined to be compared for the rest of eternity. Two transcendent talents who bring a combination of ability, desire and physical stature that sometimes belie belief.
James admitted he was chasing the ghost of Jordan as he goes after more rings and MVP awards. MJ has six titles and five MVPs compared to Bron's three and four.
In a recent interview, the Cleveland Cavaliers man said that more credit should go to the teammates around Jordan during his incredible title wins with the Chicago Bulls. With that in mind, we take a look at which player had the better teammates during his career.
During his time with the Miami Heat, James had Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to call upon. However, it too often seemed to fall on LeBron to bring them through a tight situation.
He averaged over 26 points per game during both playoff runs as they went back-to-back - averaging 30.3 in his first title-winning season - while Wade averaged over 22 in 2012 but dropped off in 2013. Bosh averaged 14 at most. Players such as Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers and Chris Anderson played their part.
His all-around game was fantastic and he inspired his teammates to reach another level. They had clutch moments, such as Allen's series-saving three against the Spurs in 2013.
As for his title win in Cleveland, he etched his named into history with a performance for the ages, but he had ample scoring backup from Kyrie Irving, who is the best support James has had during his career. The Cavs also had big production from Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith, but the 'King' was the main man.
Teammate grade: Miami Heat: B- Cleveland Cavaliers: B+
Jordan is the GOAT - nothing else needs to be said. But he did have help. Scottie Pippen was there throughout his career, while at different stages, different players were able to play their own significant role in his success.
Horace Grant, Toni Kukoc and Dennis Rodman were just some of the players who all helped in one way or another. Rodman was a monster on the boards while Grant and Kukoc were steady scorers - Grant was also a strong rebounder.
However, there was a noticeable difference in his teammates, and MJ himself, on either side of his stint playing baseball.
While consistently putting up over 30 points a night during his career, the backup in his first three-peat was strong; Grant, Pippen and B.J. Armstrong all averaged over 10 points throughout the postseason run of 1992.
However, from 1996-98, only Kukoc and Pippen made a real impact on the scoring. Rodman was the brawn and they had role players like Luc Longley, Ron Harper and Steve Kerr, but MJ really went onto a different level.