Detroit Pistons legendary big man Bill Laimbeer, mostly known for his extremely physical play in the 1980’s and early 90’s, had many battles with another fellow legend in Michael Jordan. Now a coach for the WNBA’s New York Liberty, Laimbeer visited the Dan Patrick show Thursday morning and got right to the point when asked who the better play is between LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
“There’s no question I would take LeBron James,” Laimbeer said. “He can do more. Michael Jordan could score and make big shots and look spectacular at times with wild-flying dunks, but LeBron can get you 18 rebounds. LeBron can get you 15 assists if he chooses to, or he can score 50 if he wanted to.
Most of Laimbeer’s reasoning has been one of the best professional opinions thus far, and mostly because none of what he said had to do with championships, scoring titles, or MVP’s. He also touched on how he and his Pistons attempted to wear down Jordan with their physicality. Detroit successfully did that three times in a row in the playoffs before Jordan and the Bulls found a way to defeat them.
Laimbeer says a similar strategy to wear LeBron James down in the playoffs won’t work.
“So the triple threat he poses is just phenomenal, and then the size that he’s got… he just physically dominates. It’s impressive.”
“You can’t knock him down. He’ll knock you down. No one’s ever seen a physical specimen like LeBron,” said Laimbeer. “6-foot-8, 285 [pounds], strong, jumps out of the gym, runs like the wind. Man, I’m in awe of this guy.”
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To finish on the topic of LeBron vs. Jordan, Bill Laimbeer said that even if LeBron does lose these NBA Finals, which he and a whole city don’t plan to, James has had the most inexperienced team and had to overcome so much just to get to the Finals.
“Yeah, but you look at what LeBron has in the Finals right now,” Laimbeer argued. “Anybody else in this league … could they have led the team that he has around him right now to the Finals? I don’t think so. Jordan couldn’t have led this team to the Finals.
“LeBron came into the league knowing how to play basketball and involve his teammates. Jordan had to learn that, and then they had to assemble some great teammates around him in order for him to win.”