1. Cultural Icon
Jordan is a cultural icon in a way that James will never be. This is because M.J. brought global attention to the NBA. His legacy is far more influential than James’. While James is a spectacular player, his overall significance pales in comparison. Arguably neither of them are the greatest players ever. The likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabber and Wilt Chamberlain were also magnificent.
Meanwhile, James confronted rivals such as Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. But nobody commanded the attention of audiences like peak Jordan. He was a force of nature that went beyond the Chicago Bulls. Unless James becomes President of the USA, he can’t beat Jordan in this regard. That fact that everybody talked about “The Last Dance” 20 years after Jordan retired says a lot.