Michael Jordan and LeBron James are two of the best NBA players in history. They are two of the fiercest competitors the game has ever seen but their approach to rivals was very different from one another. While James is more of a friendly guy after the game is over, Michael Jordan was always trying to destroy his opponents, to make sure that nobody was better than him on the court.
Scott Williams, who happened to play with both players, has explained the differences between them, confirming what everybody knew: MJ was a winning machine, he not only cared about winning but he wanted to destroy whoever was in front of him and his goal. Talking with HoopsHype, Williams revealed the biggest differences between the two NBA legends.
The only thing that I will say that is probably a separation is that Michael has had a nastiness and ferocity to his game that LeBron may not possess. LeBron will try to beat you. He definitely wants to beat you. But MJ wants to beat you in a way where you will be embarrassed to go on a ride home with your spouse after the game. He wants everybody in the stands, your friends and your family and your fans, to know that you can’t come close to ever beating him. He wants you to think, when you go to sleep at night, you won’t even dream about beating him. He wants to tear your heart from your chest and show it to you and to everybody that is in the stands. He wants everyone to know when you walk out of the arena that he was the baddest man in a pair of basketball shoes that night. He did that every night! That was about the only difference between Michael and LeBron that made me think that his competitiveness and fuel were a little bit more than what LeBron had and that’s why MJ would never lose in the NBA Finals. He just wouldn’t let it happen. I don’t care who was wearing the other jerseys across from him. You knew that he was the ultimate weapon. It’s not a knock on LeBron. That’s just what separated Michael from everybody else including Magic, Bird, the greats of the greats.
As we all knew and remembered watching 'The Last Dance,' Jordan was always trying to find a way to motivate himself more than anybody else on the court. That led him to win six championships and plenty of accolades during his stint with the Chicago Bulls. As for LeBron, he's always motivated, but he gets that fire from a different place.
Different methods that have worked for them. Jordan won six championships and LeBron recently earned his fourth in 10 trips to the Finals. They are very different but that doesn't matter when you care about one thing: winning.