“If LeBron was playing in the late ’80s or early ’90s, he’d be just an average player.”
That is Dennis Rodman, talking about comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan.
“If Michael played today … really? If he played the game today at 28 years old, he would average 40 points a game, probably more….
“I’m just sick and tired of people always comparing him and Michael Jordan. It’s a whole different era, man.”
First off, that’s what we as fans do. We compare the greats of different eras, even though we know that it is inherently unfair to do so. Is LeBron greater in his era then Jordan in his? No. Or to be fair not yet as LeBron is 28, but LeBron will never be the cultural icon that Jordan was because MJ was the perfect storm of the right player at the right time for growing the game. But did Jordan change the game as much as Magic Johnson? Were either of them really greater in their era than Bill Russell in his?
These are barstool debates with no real answer. It’s fun to discuss, but it’s a meaningless hypothetical.
What I think is fair to say — LeBron in the 1990s would have been a great player. LeBron in any era would have been a great player. How great is up for debate, but he would not have been average. That’s overselling it.
Here is the first half of the Rodman interview, where he is at his most Rodman.