It seems as though almost every single facet and statistic has been covered in the LeBron vs. Jordan debate.
From career averages, advanced stats, career totals, and the all-important championship tally, without fail all of these topics will be brought up when trying to rank one player over the other as the greatest of all-time.
One thing that is rarely touched on, however, is the defensive side of the ball for both players, and is rarely brought up by LeBron fans as it's not something LeBron is known for.
Jordan on the other hand, relished the opportunity to play defense, evidenced by his Defensive Player of the Year award back in 1988, as well as being named to nine All-Defensive teams over the course of his career.
LeBron has never once won the Defensive Player of the Year award, even though he had a rightful claim to the award back in 2013 when Marc Gasol claimed the trophy over him. On top of that, James has only been named to six All-Defensive teams during his career, but does have a couple more years left to catch Jordan's nine selections.
One of LeBron's biggest critics, Skip Bayless, recently brought up the defense argument on UndisputedOn Fox Sports and had this to say about the difference in defensive accolades between Jordan and LeBron:
"At age 34, in his final season in Chicago, Jordan made 1st-team All-NBA defense. At 33 this season, LeBron ranked 309th in the NBA in individual defensive win shares. But I guess defense doesn't count in the GOAT debate."
Skip does have a point here. As LeBron has aged, he has made a point of sometimes taking entire plays off on the defensive end to conserve energy for offense, whereas Jordan never really lost any sort of defensive intensity, even when he was playing in Washington. To be fair, LeBron has played a hell of a lot of minutes -- an added two full regular seasons if you include playoff appearances -- so taking a play off here and there to add some longevity to his career may be excusable.
But the fact that LeBron isn't so much an elite defender, as he is one of the worst defenders in the NBA according to certain stats, may just be another feather in the cap for Jordan's GOAT debate.