Is LeBron James really a rival of Michael Jordan’s?

Is LeBron James really a rival of Michael Jordan‘s given their careers did not actually overlap? If you ask Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes, the Chicago Bulls star absolutely is, at least in LeBron’s eyes. “After all, no player—active or otherwise—is more consistently used as a point of comparison for James than Michael Jordan,” writes the B/R NBA analyst.

“The ongoing and likely unresolvable GOAT debate never pits James against Curry, Pierce or anyone else,” adds Hughes, who notes such Hall of Famers don’t hold the public interest in terms of articles comparing other such luminaries to His Airness. “The James-Jordan discussion, on the other hand, rages on in barber shops, bars, and studio shows.”

“LeBron’s significantly longer (and uninterrupted by baseball) career gives him an edge in most counting stats,” Hughes reminds us. “Jordan, though, has the higher scoring average, more rings, more MVPs, a Defensive Player of the Year award and the distinction of never losing in the Finals.”

“If you think it’s difficult to compare players who dominated such different eras and whose cases force a tricky balancing act between longevity and peaks, you’re right,” adds the B/R expert.

“It’s why, unlike virtually every other rival of James’, Jordan remains the one that can’t be dismissed.”

Story originally appeared on Lonzo Wire