Are LeBron James & Michael Jordan in the middle of some simmering beef?

LeBron in Berlin

Every generation and every sport probably engages in the endless GOAT debates. Boxing, tennis, basketball, football, soccer…who is the Greatest of All Time? I’ll admit to not caring about many of the GOAT debates (except for tennis, I could GOAT-debate all day). But one debate I think is interesting is… LeBron James versus Michael Jordan: which one will be remembered as the TRUE GOAT? For my money, I think LeBron is a better man than MJ. I admire LeBron so much for the man he is, beyond the sports glory. But yeah, technically Michael Jordan is probably the GOAT as far what was done on the court. It’s always been a somewhat low-key thing about whether MJ and LeBron even like each other or respect each other, and here’s a piece from Page Six that is as petty and dishy as some Real Housewives drama:

The rivalry between LeBron James and Michael Jordan over who is the GOAT (greatest of all time) was kicked up a notch last year when Jordan refused James’ request to use video of His Airness for a documentary, which James executive produced with Maverick Carter, sources say. Without the Jordan footage, the film about the 1984 NBA draft, in which Jordan was selected third, had to be changed, and it became a three-part documentary about the civic activism of basketball players, “Shut Up and Dribble,’’ which Showtime aired in November.

Sources say that’s why King James said a month ago that winning the 2016 NBA championship for Cleveland, coming back after being down three games to one, “made me the greatest of all time.”

“LeBron was pissed at Michael Jordan — that’s why he lashed out,” one source told me. “They hate each other — these two camps.”

Jordan’s camp didn’t respond to my request for comment, but James’ adviser Adam Mendelsohn denied the rejection of the request for Jordan footage was an issue: “LeBron has absolutely zero problem with Michael Jordan controlling his content, and didn’t even know it was requested.”

An NBA insider told me, “LeBron’s people wanted an extensive amount of footage of Michael, and the league said, ‘You have to ask Michael.’ And his people said ‘no.’ ” Following in Jordan’s footsteps, camera crews have been following LeBron this season documenting his relocation to the Los Angeles Lakers. No one will be allowed to use that video without James’ permission. But the NBA insider doesn’t think the two superstars hate each other: “I think LeBron and Michael have fun with it.”

[From Page Six]

I could see Michael Jordan refusing to give LeBron’s production team the footage out of pettiness. I could also see LeBron making references to how HE is the GOAT just to piss off MJ’s camp. Or maybe they do get along somewhat and all of this is just pett AF gossip. I don’t know. I’ve never really gotten a handle on Michael Jordan’s personality, which is part of the reason why I love LeBron so much – he puts himself out there, he’ll wear his pain for all the world to see. LeBron is just a better story and a better man.

President Obama Awards Presidential Medals of Freedom

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

22 Responses to “Are LeBron James & Michael Jordan in the middle of some simmering beef?”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Tiffany says:

    And it is not going to help that LeBron surpassed Michael in all time scoring last week and by the end of his career possibly surpass his buddy Karl Malone.

    If we are thinking on the petty front.

  2. Kittycat says:

    Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time not because he says it but because of his on the court work.

    Lebron maybe a better person but he also has the big ego.

    • LadyLaw says:

      Michael Jordan also has a gigantic ego though. And is also generally a dirtbag.

      • Millenial says:

        Yeah, MJ doesn’t have the best reputation or personality, from what I’ve heard. But he’s the men’s basketball GOAT. That people even put LeBron up as GOAT is pretty silly.

      • Jillian says:

        Yup, dirtbag. Chicago local here, its widely accepted that Jordan’s first retirement from basketball was because he was caught gambling on college ball and he was allowed to retire to save face. Degenerate gambler and philanderer, we love him for what he did with the Bulls but no one is running around saying what a wonderful person he is.

  3. Sara says:

    I think a lot of this is because LeBron is so openly political in a way Jordan never was. Jordan is a sport legend but arguably LeBron is a game changer who will very probably transition into some form of grassroots politics or more.

  4. SarSte says:

    It’s not Jordan’s pettiness, it’s capitalism – as MJ (supposedly) said, even Republicans buy sneakers. I loved “Shut Up and Dribble”, but there’s a lot of feathers that documentsry could have ruffled, not least among them obese fascist Cheeto supporters. Jordan didn’t become a billionaire by being outspoken – the man has a brand to protect.

    Also, I hate GOAT discussions, regardless of sport.

  5. hezzer19 says:

    As long as nobody says hockey and GOAT in the same sentence to a Canadian. That never ends well.

    Personally I think LeBron comes out on top either way, as a person and as the GOAT. MJ is the Wayne Gretzky of basketball…IMO.

  6. Winnie Cooper's Mom says:

    “I’ve never really gotten a handle on Michael Jordan’s personality, which is part of the reason why I love LeBron so much – he puts himself out there, he’ll wear his pain for all the world to see.”

    I wonder if some of this has to do with social media and the state of tv programming we live in today vs during the height of Jordan’s fame. Like perhaps we would know more about Jordan as a person, if the platforms had been more available back then. He does come across as super private and discreet, so who knows.

    • Tiffany says:

      Could be.

      But let’s face it, Jordan was super protected. Cracks started to show when he was going through his separation with Juanita. The rumors of adultery, his attitude, how he treated people in the service industry, how he was as a teammate, etc. It did not paint the picture that the league wanted for their most prolific player.

    • Kerfuffle says:

      Jordan was discreet because he was a total a-hole (does no one remember the gambling?). There’s a reason why he’s been a total flame out as an owner too – he can’t get out of the shadow of his own ego.

  7. Jekell says:

    As someone with a bit of NBA insider info, both guys are not great. They both have huge egos and some issues.

  8. Birdie says:

    Lebron a great person? I don’t respect cheaters.

    • Ifeoma says:

      Thank you! I was beginning to wonder if I was imagining things. He cheated on his wife. Anyways, they’re back together and even expecting a baby so maybe he’s a changed person.

  9. minx says:

    Jordan is definitely no saint. As a Chicagoan I appreciate he brought the city SIX championships and countless great memories. But I’m a big fan of LeBron’s too.

  10. Lightpurple says:

    They have been squabbling on Twitter and elsewhere for months and it has been unbelievably ridiculous and petty on both sides. I am seeing LeBron tonight. As someone who grew up attending 20-30 NBA games a year, I always preferred watching Michael to LeBron. But they are both WRONG. The greatest basketball player of all time is Bill Russell. High school champion. Twice NCAA champion. Olympic gold medalist. ELEVEN time NBA champion, that’s more than Jordan and James combined. 5 time NBA MVP, 12 time All-Star. First black coach of a major American sports team and the first to win a championship. Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his civil rights work. And he has an incredible laugh.

    • Kerfuffle says:

      I mean, both LeBron and Jordan needed future hall of fame supporting casts to get those titles – they didn’t exactly happen in a vacuum.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Yeah, my mom thinks Bill Russell was GOAT. And she remembers “Lew Alcindor” was so formidable that the NCAA *LITERALLY* changed its rules on dunking just to mitigate how great he was.

      But people tend to choose players from their own era, because that’s who they watched play, and how can we make a decision on someone we never watched play? For me, I saw Michael Jordan play in his prime, and nobody will ever convince me otherwise that I saw the GOAT.

  11. Kim says:

    Meh. I’m team Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.