New York Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer joined The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday morning, and he didn't mince words when the conversation inevitably drifted to the NBA's inescapable binary question:
Jordan or LeBron?
"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.
"So the triple threat he poses is just phenomenal, and then the size that he's got -- he just physically dominates. It’s impressive."
Laimbeer and the "Bad Boy" Pistons played Jordan's Bulls in four straight postseason series, winning the first three, in part by focusing on Jordan and grinding him down physically.
But Laimbeer told Patrick the same game plan wouldn't slow LeBron.
"You can't knock him down," Laimbeer said. "He'll knock you down. No one's ever seen a physical specimen like LeBron. 6-foot-8, 285 [pounds], strong, jumps out of the gym, runs like the wind. Man, I'm in awe of this guy."
Sure, but what about the #ringz argument? If the Warriors vanquish the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, James' Finals record will fall to 2-4.
"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."
Fans will go to their grave arguing LeBron vs. Jordan, and maybe that in itself is the the ultimate compliment the Cavs' superstar can receive in a world where one-third of Americans actually believe a 52-year-old Jordan could take James right here, right now.