Michael Jordan vs LeBron James is the greatest argument in sports history. The GOAT if you will. And The Last Dance has just taken it to another level.
With the last installments of the documentary spending some time on Jordan's experience with the "Dream Team" and the other greats of his era like Charles Barkley, it's time to pose the question... Who faced better competition: Jordan or LeBron? Well, there is a clear case for each.
Jordan: "The Dream Team". Enough said. If we consider that the greatest collection of players ever assembled, MJ went through many of them, keeping several from ever winning a championship. Just ask Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and John Stockton how that felt. Not to mention Jordan had to face Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics on the come up, battle the Bad Boys Pistons and best a late career Magic Johnson and the Lakers to win his first title.
LeBron: Many have bemoaned James' path in the East. But were the Big Three Celtics and Pistons teams he faced really inferior to the New York Knicks or Indiana Pacers of Jordan's day? And, while Jordan's foes were all assembled on a team, he played with them. Many of LeBron's best opponents were squadded up together in the regular NBA. Boston, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and of course Golden State all had an absurd assemblage of talent.
While this could go either way, I've always argued every team LeBron beat in the NBA Finals is better than any team Jordan did. The Spurs had Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The Thunder Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka. And the Warriors won 73 games.
So, while both GOATs beat greats, I'd argue LeBron's competition was slightly greater.