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updated: 6/26/2012 12:06 AM

The great debate: Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James

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  • Michael Jordan won six NBA Chcampionship titles with the Chicago Bulls, and LeBron James has won one with the Miami Heat. If James wins three or four titles, some NBA experts believe he'll be considered as great as Jordan. Mike North, however, says six is still greater than four in his math world, so go ahead and compare James with other NBA greats, but not with Jordan just yet.

      Michael Jordan won six NBA Chcampionship titles with the Chicago Bulls, and LeBron James has won one with the Miami Heat. If James wins three or four titles, some NBA experts believe he'll be considered as great as Jordan. Mike North, however, says six is still greater than four in his math world, so go ahead and compare James with other NBA greats, but not with Jordan just yet.
    Associated Press/1998 file

 
 

All weekend I was on Fox Sports radio calming down the masses who were calling and actually mentioning LeBron James in rhythm with Michael Jordan.

Child, please!

Some media members are actually gauging when it will be proper to mention LeBron in the same sentence with Jordan. With my very own waxy ears, I heard ABC's Mike Wilbon say LeBron James can be in the conversation with MJ after three or four titles.

Now Mike Wilbon does a great job hosting the Miami Heat pregame show, and I know he bows at the altar of LeBron James, but he is a Chicago guy. So when I heard him utter those words, I was stunned.

Hey Mr. Northwestern, where I come from and where you come from -- six is more than four! LeBron James has to win seven to even be discussed with Michael Jordan.

Let's not forget Michael Jordan never had the cast LeBron James has in Miami. Yep I would take Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, over Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, and Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman are a push in my world.

Don't ever forget if Michael Jordan doesn't quit, he probably has eight titles. He won every final series he was in, and LeBron James has already lost twice.

So let's cut LeBron James a break and level the field a bit. For starters, let's compare him with Larry Bird at three titles, then Tim Duncan at four, and Magic Johnson at five, along with Kobe Bryant.

Then maybe we can bring up Michael Jordan.

MAYBE!

It seems the media and the public have made winning NBA titles the barometer for judging the greatest in the league, otherwise Wilt Chamberlain would be the greatest NBA player who ever lived.

Wilt did it all. He averaged 50 points and 25 rebounds in a season. He never fouled out of a game, scored 100 points in a game and led the league one year in assists from the center position.

But he didn't win enough titles -- he won two -- so he's just not good enough.

Bill Russell won 11 and he isn't in my top fifteen of the best NBA players of all time. But I guess since he won titles, he gets the awards named after him.

So let's have LeBron James go after Larry Bird and the rest. He's already better than Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton and Dominique Wilkins because none of them won a title.

Be patient folks. LeBron James is great but he isn't elite yet. He needs to sustain his greatness to rank up there, and maybe he will.

For now, he has as many titles as Dirk Nowitzki and Downtown Freddie Brown and hundreds more.

If you ask me who I want taking the last shot in a game, LeBron's not in my Top 20 yet. Let's start with Michael Jordan, then Ray Allen, Reggie Miller … oh never mind.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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