You might be a Jordan guy. You might be a LeBron guy. Any way you slice it, Michael Jordan and LeBron James are the best to ever play basketball.
When ESPN drops the 10-part “The Last Dance” documentary series Sunday night [ESPN, 9 ET], it will serve as a reinforcement of Jordan’s nearly unblemished resume as basketball’s G.O.A.T. The doc will have highlights and commentary on his best games and greatest achievements of his career. It. Will. Be. Amazing.
It will also be difficult for people to watch the documentary series and not have it warp their opinions in all of the subsequent MJ vs. LeBron debates that undoubtedly will follow. Thus, to help those who aim to be objective, I’ve ranked in inverse order the top 25 games Michael Jordan and LeBron James have played.
There are 12 games for Jordan; 13 for LeBron. Maybe that’s because I’m a LeBron guy. Or maybe it’s because games such as this, this and this — all of which happened in the span of 87 days — had to be left off the honorable mention.
Honorable mention games
Remember when Jordan scored 55 points in the first round of the 1988 playoffs? Or when he obliterated the Bad Boy Pistons championship defense in a two-point win in the 1989 Eastern Conference Finals? Or when he had a 64-point explosion against the Magic in 1993? Or when he scored 55 points in the first round of the 1997 playoffs? None of those games made this list.
Remember when a 20-year-old LeBron had a 56-point, 10-rebound, five-assist game? Or his 52-point, near-triple-double at Madison Square Garden in 2009? What about his pivotal playoff performances in 2012 (Game 4) and 2018 (Game 7) against the Pacers? Or his 37-18-13 Game 3 of the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals? All of those were left on the cutting room floor.
Here’s the creme de la creme: