The comparisons between LeBron James and Michael Jordan won't stop coming. They are considered the two greatest basketball players to ever exist, but their fans try to make the case for each of them whenever they have the chance.
The GOAT debate was really hot during 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 but now has gone a little quiet. Yet, that doesn't mean people try to explain why they pick Jordan over LeBron or vice versa.
Former NBA player-turned-analyst Jalen Rose had a curious explanation as to why LeBron missed his chance to surpass Jordan when he left the Miami Heat in 2014. James landed in South Beach in 2010, with big expectations of winning that elusive first championship and creating a dynasty with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
However, winning two titles in four years didn't make the cut for Rose, who explained that was James' biggest chance to convince unbiased fans that he was the GOAT. Talking with Chris Haynes on the "Posted Up" podcast, Rose said that staying in Miami would have been harder than returning to Cleveland, but he still gave flowers to LeBron for winning it all with the Cavaliers.
"Here was LeBron's chance to pass MJ for like true non-bias basketball historians. If he would have stayed in Miami and they would have actually did "not 5, not 6, not 7." That was his chance to do it. If that would have went down like that. If they would have won like four [rings] in 6 years or something like that. They won two in four years... They didn't really do what they set out to do, and so he needed to go to Cleveland to raise one for his city, his hometown, his home state but also reinvent himself. You know the hardest thing to do, when people go, like, is to build a new situation. No. The hardest thing to do is to stay."
This is an interesting angle, but it's unclear if LeBron would have gotten to more Finals with the Heat if he stayed there. Dwyane Wade's level started decreasing when The King left, while Chris Bosh started dealing with health issues.
Instead, James teamed up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, a younger duo in Cleveland. There, he made it to four straight Finals, winning one title, probably the hardest championship of all time, but lost three rings against the Golden State Warriors.
Most Jordan's fans always say that MJ's 6-0 will always be better than LeBron's 4-6, although LBJ went to more Finals than His Airness. LeBron staying in Miami is a big 'what-if,' but we'll never know how that team would have fared after losing the 2014 Finals to the San Antonio Spurs.