Poll: 73% of NBA Fans Say Michael Jordan Better than LeBron James

Getty Images/Sean M. Haffey

A new poll finds that NBA fans still feel Michael Jordan is the GOAT, ranking him higher than LeBron James in nearly every way.

The ESPN poll found that 73 percent of respondents felt that Michael Jordan is the better player overall. Still the GOAT, Jordan swept all 17 questions where respondents were tasked with comparing him to LeBron James.

ESPN made an effort to compensate for those who may not have been alive while Jordan was playing (he last played in 2002) by splitting the 600 respondents into two age groups one to age 34 and the second from 35 onward.

Still, even with the weighted age brackets, Jordan split evenly with the younger audience. As to the older fans, Jordan led four to one (79 percent) in that group.

Jordan ranked mostly in the 60 and 70 percentile over-all in the results. The only question he ranked under 60 percent was on “trust to pass you the ball.” That result was 57 percent felt Jordan would do that while 43 percent felt LeBron would. That was also LeBron’s highest ranking in the poll. Otherwise, James was at 41 percent and lower in the poll results.

The fans felt Jordan had the better-looking sneaker (79 percent to 21 percent), had the better shoe “to ball in” (77 percent to 23 percent), was the best pick for the game-winning shot (76 percent to 24 percent), and would come through in a clutch (74 percent to 26 percent).

The only questions that LeBron James began to gain ground still showed that he came in second to Jordan. For “better defensive player” Jordan ranked at 50 percent to James’ 41 percent, for “better passer” the fans gave Jordan 59 percent to James’ 41 percent, and for “trust to pass you the ball,” Jordan got 57 percent while James earned 43 percent. And that was the best James could do against the famed former Chicago Bulls star.

Fans even essentially dismissed the claim that LeBron James now faces tougher competition than Michael Jordan did in his heyday. 71 percent said that the NBA was an all-around better league during Jordan’s day. Only 29 percent said the NBBA was better today.

ESPN concluded that 65 percent marked Jordan as the greatest player of all time, while only 14 percent said it was LeBron James.

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