Nevermind the LeBron James-vs.-Michael Jordan debate, it's time to rehash the LeBron-Kobe Bryant debate, thanks to MJ himself.
Jordan was asked whether Bryant or James has had the better career for an NBA TV special airing next week, and according to the Sun-Sentinel, Jordan's answer won't please Heat fans.
"If you had to pick between the two, that would be a tough choice," Jordan said, "but five beats one every time I look at it." He's talking about Bryant's five championships.
"And not that he won't get five," Jordan continued, talking about James. "He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one."
Using team accomplishments to measure individual success is kind of like comparing apples to oranges (if LeBron played with Shaquille O'Neal in his prime, he'd probably have more than one championship ring right now), but James is not too concerned about Jordan's comments.
"That doesn't matter to me," he said when told of Jordan's choice. "If you take Kobe one and then I go second... it doesn't matter. I don't really get too involved about what guys say about me, or if you take Kobe or if you take LeBron.
"As long as I'm on the floor and I try to make plays for my teammates, I don't do what I do for other people's approval."
Last week, Scottie Pippen reignited the debate over whether James will go down as the best player in NBA history (a title currently held by Jordan). He called James "the most complete player the game has ever seen," saying he could do things on offense and defense that Jordan could not.
James distanced himself from the comparison entirely, tweeting Wednesday, "I'm not MJ, I'm LJ."
On Thursday, he added, "It's no comparison to him. I think people always try to figure out ways or want to compare someone to someone. But, you know, Mike is Mike and I'm LeBron and I'm trying to make my own name, make my own statement."
Teammate Dwyane Wade concurred. "There'll never be another Michael Jordan," he told the Sentinel. "He was the first kind of to do a lot of things. Whenever you're the first, there can never be another."
"But that guy down there," he continued, referring to James, "he's in the beginning of starting his own path and there will be someone who will be compared to the next LeBron James."