ESPN ranks Michael Jordan over LeBron James in greatest NBA players list

The argument is over. All discussions regarding the NBA’s greatest G.O.A.T. are to cease and desist immediately. While we’re at it, Association followers can sculpt the Mount Rushmore of the best players to ever dribble a basketball.

At least, that’s all according to ESPN.

In one of the least surprising sports developments since the coronavirus pandemic shut leagues down in March, the Worldwide Leader named Michael Jordan the greatest NBA player of all time.

Only His Airness sits above LeBron James, as the three-time champion checked in at No. 2.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the man with more points than any player in history, is No. 3. Bill Russell, who won a record 11 championships as a player, and Magic Johnson finish out the top five.

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By Zac Wassink | Last updated 5/13/20

LeBron James, other stars want to resume 2019-20 NBA season?

On Tuesday, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that National Basketball Players Association regional representatives had reached out to players about their thoughts on finishing the 2019-20 season that was halted on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

That afternoon, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports wrote some of the biggest names in the NBA are willing to play as long as they feel their safety is ensured.

Per Haynes, NBPA president and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul spoke with LeBron James, Anthony Davis (James’ teammate with the Los Angeles Lakers), reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, three-time champion guard Stephen Curry, two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant, one-time NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, and Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard on Monday.

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By Zac Wassink | Last updated 5/12/20

Michael Jordan’s agent says Scottie Pippen is jealous of MJ

Pippen has indicated in the past he believes that to be true, so it would only be natural for him to feel some bitterness about all the attention Jordan gets.

According to Jordan’s agent, Pippen has always been downright jealous.

David Falk, Jordan’s longtime agent, joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan in Washington this week to discuss ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary series. Falk has seen the entire 10-part series, and apparently Pippen shows a jealous side in the episodes that have yet to air. Falk alluded to that.

“Pippen has a certain level of jealousy towards Michael,” Falk said, as transcribed by Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “He has said recently many times he thinks LeBron’s a better player. Now, if you’re Scottie Pippen, and Michael Jordan made your career, completely made your career; even if you think that, keep it to yourself.”

We’ll have to wait to see if Pippen made any Jordan-LeBron James comparisons in the documentary, but Pippen said several years ago that LeBron may be the greatest player ever. His opinion was that Jordan has a better legacy and is a better winner, but LeBron may be more talented.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 5/1/20

Greatest of The Greatest: A top-25 ranking of LeBron, Jordan games

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 thisthis and this — all of which happened in the span of 87 days — had to be left off the honorable mention.

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By Pat Heery | Last updated 4/13/20

LeBron James walks back refusal to play games in empty arenas

LeBron James is walking back his vow not to play in games held without fans in attendance amid the coronavirus outbreak. He instead opted to soften his stance amid the nationwide health crisis.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar acknowledged that the safety of fans, players, team personnel and arena staff should come first before the ominous optics of playing games in empty arenas.

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Originally posted on Sportress of Blogitude By Jason Rowan | Last updated 3/10/20

LeBron James says he won’t play in empty arenas amid coronavirus outbreak

After the NBA sent a memo instructing teams to prepare to possibly play in empty arenas amid the COVID-19 (also known as the coronavirus) outbreak, Lakers superstar LeBron James said he will not play under those conditions, per USA Today’s Mark Medina:

“I ain’t playing. I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates. I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. If I show up to an arena and there are no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do.”

It remains to be seen if the coronavirus outbreak worsens in the coming days/weeks to the point where the league needs to take extreme measures. However, James insisted that playing without fans in the stands cannot be done.

“We play games without the fans?” James asked. “Nah, it’s impossible.”

With the spread of the deadly disease, the NBA has released statements at various junctures. Last Saturday, the NBA said it was working closely with the Center for Disease Control but not anticipating any schedule changes. The NBA’s statement read:

“The health and safety of our employees, teams, players and fans is paramount. We are coordinating with our teams and consulting with the CDC and infectious disease specialists on the coronavirus and continue to monitor the situation closely.”

In another statement, the league said that predraft combines and international scouting events could be impacted by the outbreak.

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Originally posted on Hoops Rumors | By Mark Suleymanov | Last updated 3/7/2

Watch: LeBron James speaks from heart in speech honoring Kobe Bryant

Only one player spoke during the pregame ceremony honoring the late Kobe Bryant, and it was LeBron James.

The current Los Angeles Lakers star had a piece of paper with his speech written down, but he put it aside and said he was going to speak from the heart instead.

James began by recognizing each of the nine people who died in Sunday’s helicopter crash. He spoke about family, what Kobe meant to him, and he tried to make the focus on Kobe a positive one.

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Larry Brown | Last updated 1/31/20

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LeBron James: WNBA’s New CBA ‘A Big Step’ For The League

LeBron James has long been a vocal supporter of the WNBA, and the Los Angeles Lakers superstar is encouraged by the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, calling it “a big step” for the league.

The WNBA on Tuesday announced a tentative agreement with the WNBPA on an eight-year CBA, which the league heralded as “groundbreaking.”

Among the agreed-upon terms are the following enhancements, as laid out by the WNBA:

– Significant Increases to Player Cash Compensation and Benefits –

– Cash Compensation Triples to More Than Half a Million Dollars for Top Players –

– Enhanced Travel Standards; Expanded Career Development Opportunities; New Child Care, Maternity and Progressive Family Planning Benefits –

– League Launches ‘WNBA Changemakers’ Partnership Platform to Enhance Player Experience and Drive Business Transformation 

When asked Wednesday about the developments, James gave his nod of approval.

“It’s a big step in their league,” James said. “I’m happy for all the women that’s part of their league, both on the floor and off, and I hope they continue their success.”

The new CBA is without question a significant achievement for the WNBA and the league’s players, and it sets up the league to make even more progress. While much work is left to be done, James is correct about it being a big step for arguably the top women’s league in professional sports.

To continue reading this article, click HERE.

Originally posted on Sportress of Blogitude
By Jason Rowan  |  Last updated 1/15/20

Report: LeBron James will play Christmas Day against Clippers

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James missed his first game on Sunday due to a thoracic muscle strain, but he’s reportedly going to play on Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Clippers.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin wrote that James is also dealing with “a nagging groin issue” and that the Lakers are listing him as day to day. Then, he shared that, despite these injuries, “a source close to James told ESPN he expected the star to be in the lineup.”

This should not surprise anyone. James isn’t one of those NBA stars who enjoys the regular “load management” day off here and there. He’s more the kind of guy who doesn’t want to come off the court for a single second.

On top of that, the Lakers have suddenly lost three straight games after opening the season with a 24-3 record. So, you know James is going to show up for this huge prime-time game on Christmas Day.

The 34-year-old superstar is enjoying another fantastic season, averaging 25.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game.

By: Jesse Reed

https://www.yardbarker.com/nba/articles/report_lebron_james_will_play_christmas_day_against_clippers/s1_12680_30878096

10 NBA players off to a hot start

The NFL is the biggest and most-watched professional sports organization in North America each October and November. Nothing the NBA does will ever alter that reality. With that said, basketball diehards could legitimately claim the Association has been responsible for the better and more entertaining storylines between the two leagues since the start of the 2019-20 campaign. 

Stephen Curry is out indefinitely after suffering a broken hand in late October, and the Golden State Warriors plummeted to the basement of the Western Conference standings. LeBron James once again looks like the best overall player on the planet. The Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t a complete disaster as of mid-November. Seemingly everybody has a take on load management and what it means for the NBA now and in the future. 

Association experts, observers and fans promised the most open and competitive season of the decade, and the league didn’t disappoint as Halloween decorations made way for Christmas lights and holiday music. Granted, not every player off to a hot start this fall will be in meaningful basketball games come April. Some even may be moved before the trade deadline. But at least a few are early contenders for honors such as Most Improved Player and Most Valuable Player, and a certain 24-year-old may finally be in the infancy of a long-awaited breakout year. 

Who is off to a hot start so far this season?

Trae Young 

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young tallying five steals during a Nov. 8 loss to the Sacramento Kings was an aberration. To put it nicely, the 21-year-old remains a liability on defense and often appears disinterested with that aspect of playing. Young also made history, per Hawks PR, by becoming the first player to ever notch at least 38 points, nine assists and seven boards across his team’s opening two regular-season contests. He drained 14-of-28 three-point attempts in four October games, and he’s shooting over 46 percent from the field. With John Collins suspended for 25 games, Young is tasked with carrying Atlanta’s offensive burden more than at any previous point of his 90-game career.

Kyrie Irving 

Nobody who has followed Kyrie Irving’s career was shocked by the report from ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan that claimed Irving lapsed “into a funk” and was responsible for an episode that left “everyone scratching their heads as to what precipitated it” during the Brooklyn Nets’ preseason trip to China. Irving likely will always be enigmatic off the court to those outside of his inner circle, but even his detractors located in Boston and Cleveland can’t ignore his scoring over the season’s first 10 games. Irving posted 29.7 PPG, roughly seven points better than his career average, over his first stretch of contests in Brooklyn colors. As Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News wrote, Irving set a franchise record by accumulating 222 points through Brooklyn’s first seven games. The one-time champion who grew up in New Jersey says he’s happy living and playing in the Big Apple. Time will tell. 

Gordon Hayward

Basketball, like life, is often unfair. For the first time since Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome and horrific leg injury minutes into the 2017-18 season debut, the 29-year-old showed glimpses he had located his previous All-Star form. Hayward averaged 18.9 PPG and career-bests in REB (7.1) and field-goal percentage (55.5) over eight appearances. On Nov. 5, Hayward torched the Cleveland Cavaliers for 39 points while going 17-of-20 from the field. He was back. Then he suffered a broken hand on Nov. 9. That latest setback will sideline him for at least six weeks, according to Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press. 

Tristan Thompson 

Tristan Thompson and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t get the memo the team is tanking. Thompson finished Cleveland’s 10th game of the season third on the team in scoring, and he averaged career highs in PPG (16.5), REB (11.4) and BLK (1.4) over those outings. He’s even making threes for the first time in his pro career!
The 28-year-old is out of contract following the campaign, and the rebuilding Cavs have little reason to consider paying him beyond that deal. Thus, Thompson is auditioning for would-be contenders between now and Dec. 15 when offseason signees become trade-available.  
New Cleveland head coach John Beilein deserves praise for guiding a lackluster roster to a 4-6 start. The franchise nevertheless cannot exist in a state of denial. Thompson is currently worth more on the market than in the Cavs lineup. 

Thomas Bryant 

The Washington Wizards lost six of their first eight games en route to what is practically guaranteed to be a woeful season but center Thomas Bryant was one bright spot. The former Los Angeles Lakers castoff hit the 20-point mark in three of those eight outings, and he converted at least 60 percent of his attempts in three straight games from Nov. 4 through Nov. 8. Bryant began Nov. 13 averaging 2.3 BLK, 11.3 defensive rebounds and 14.8 total rebounds per 100 team possessions. If he can get back to his 33.3 percent three-point shooting from a season ago (he was at 26.1 percent after eight games), he can evolve into more than just a stat compiler for an awful team. 

Aron Baynes

During the 2019 FIFA World Cup , Boston Celtics salary cap casualty and Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes shot 52.4 percent (11-21) from beyond the arc while averaging 11.4 PPG and 5.5 REB. The 32-year-old carried that form over to the start of the NBA season. In 10 games, nine starts, Baynes averaged career-highs in PPG (16.2), REB (5.8), AST (3.1), BLK (0.9), three-point percentage (50.0), field goal percentage (59.0) and MIN (24.3). Guard Devin Booker is making those around him better en route to taking a necessary career leap, but Baynes is playing well enough to potentially keep Deandre Ayton a spectator once the 21-year-old serves his 25-game ban. 

Andre Drummond 

Can the Detroit Pistons win with Andre Drummond? The same question many within the basketball community asked on Oct. 1 hovers over the club in the middle of November. The 26-year-old center is good for 20 points and 20 rebounds whenever the mood strikes him. As of Nov. 13, nobody had scored more two-point field goals (reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo had played in two fewer games heading into that evening), and Drummond led the Association in offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total boards, and total rebound percentage.  As Michael Pina of SB Nation explained, however, Drummond’s inconsistent efforts and obvious offensive limitations coupled with the fact the Pistons don’t have enough horses to make anything resembling a deep postseason run raise concerns about Drummond’s future. He can either test free agency next summer or exercise a player option worth over $28.7 million for 2020-21. As cruel as it is to suggest, the Pistons may require a top-tier team to lose a starter at Drummond’s position to move the big man before the trade deadline. Both player and club could benefit from such a transaction. 

Andrew Wiggins

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins was a punchline for much of his side’s season opener vs. the Brooklyn Nets, even though he made a couple of clutch shots during the overtime period. Few are laughing at the 24-year-old after 10 games. Wiggins is averaging career marks in PPG (25.5), AST (3.3), BLK (1.1) and field goal percentage (47.3), and as Danny Cunningham of SKOR North wrote, he also has drastically improved his shot selection, and the six-year pro is attacking the rim unlike at previous times during his underwhelming “empty points” periods.  Can this version of Wiggins last through the harsh winter months? Will he put forth more than half-efforts on defense minus the occasional solid outing? If “yes” is the answer to both questions, Wiggins will contend for Most Improved Player honors. 

James Harden

Houston Rockets guard James Harden heard your offseason jokes about his inability and unwillingness to share the ball with Russell Westbrook. Per Justin Kubatko of Statmuse and Basketball-Reference, the one-time regular-season MVP is only the third player in league history to average at least 37 PPG through the opening 10 games of a campaign. (Harden was at 37.3 at the start of Nov. 13.) The 30-year-old also scored the most points across 10 contests (373) than any player since Rick Barry tallied 381 points in the fall of 1966. Most frightening for opposing defenses is that several signs point to Harden heating up rather than peaking ahead of Thanksgiving. He shot under 13 percent from three-point land in three of his first five games before returning to form from long distance over the subsequent four outings. From Nov. 4 through Nov. 11, Harden averaged 40.25 PPG in four games. 

LeBron James 

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James turns 35 years old in December, but one wouldn’t know that by watching him this fall. USA Today, Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype, Nemanja Vukasinovic of Fadeaway World and Forbes’ Tommy Beer all mentioned James as an MVP candidate in early November, and the King averaged 24.0 PPG, 11.0 AST, 8.2 REB and 1.1 STL in his first 10 games. He shot 47.1 percent from the field over that period.  James isn’t a fan of load management. “If I’m hurt, I don’t play. If not, I’m playing,” he told ESPN earlier this month. Lakers coach Frank Vogel should approach the situation differently. Los Angeles is built to win a title next spring. Limiting James’ involvement in relatively meaningless games this winter is vital to achieving that goal. 

Last season, the Toronto Raptors featured Kawhi Leonard in 60 regular-season contests. Leonard entered the playoffs fresh, and he was the Association’s top two-way player throughout the postseason. The Lakers require James’ best beginning next April, not in January. 

https://www.yardbarker.com/nba/articles/10_nba_players_off_to_a_hot_start/s1_13132_30528971

By: Zac Wassink