Arguably the best player in the NBA history, Michael Jordan was a dominant defensive guard for his entire career. His offense was perhaps equally good to his defense. He was an athletic, strong, skilled and quick defender that would often guard the opponent's top scorer while still lighting up the scoreboard.
Obviously, Jordan was a 9x All-Defensive player and winner of the 1988 Defensive Player of the Year. To this day, he's the only player in NBA history to win the scoring title, MVP, NBA Championship, Finals MVP, and be named to the NBA All-Defensive 1st team. He mastered the game on both ends in an unprecedented way.
Currently, Jordan holds a lead in all accolades minus Rookie of the Year, All-Star appearances, All-NBA Team, and Hall of Fame. He has a better Finals record as well as two more rings than LeBron. He also has three more All-Defense selections and one more MVP award.
Michael Jordan is one of five players to have won both an MVP and a Defensive Player of the Year award in their career. David Robinson won the award in the 1991–92 NBA season. Gary Payton was the first point guard to win the award. Dwight Howard won the award in three consecutive years (2009–2011).
Michael Jordan had a defensive rating of 102.7 in his career.
Michael Jordan's first championship season was by far his best as a Chicago Bull. During the regular season, MJ led the league by scoring 31.5 points a night. He also had six boards, 5.5 assists, 2.7 steals while shooting a career-high 53.9 percent from the field.
LeBron James has not won the Defensive Player of the Year award in his career.
Michael Jordan won the award in the 1984–85 NBA season. Allen Iverson won the award in the 1996–97 NBA season. Pau Gasol won the award in the 2001–02 NBA season. LeBron James won the award in the 2003–04 NBA season.
He was All-Star game MVP three times and Defensive Player of the Year. He was all-defensive first team nine times and the NBA scoring leader 10 times.
Kobe Bryant has more career points than Michael Jordan, but Jordan was the better scorer between the two. Highlighted by his NBA record 10 scoring titles, Jordan also averaged 30.1 points per game. Let me also mention that Jordan's scoring average is 5.1 points more than Bryant.
Michael Jordan, in an article from ESPN in 2013, confessed to studying LeBron James and said what he would do to slow him down. “I study him [LeBron James]. When LeBron goes right, he usually drives; when he goes left, he usually shoots a jumper. It has to do with his mechanics and how he loads the ball for release.
The "Bad Boys" Pistons may be Jordan's greatest rival historically, and he himself has called Joe Dumars the toughest defender he has ever faced. Statistically speaking, though, Detroit never contained him as well in the playoffs as Payton did.
The Celtics and Pistons groomed Michael Jordan
They were his toughest matchups, and it's all documented how the Pistons beat up Michael Jordan in Jordan Rules. He also faced Charles Barkley with the 76ers on the way to the Finals in the Eastern Conference as well as in the 1993 NBA Finals.
Michael Jordan describes why Joe Dumars is the greatest defender he had to go up against in his career. Michael Jordan considers Joe Dumars the best player who ever guarded him out of all the players he faced during his legendary career.
Jordan averaged 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.4 steals and 0.8 blocks per game.
On October 30, 2003, 18-year-old basketball prodigy LeBron James scores 25 points, grabs six rebounds and dishes out nine assists, but his Cleveland Cavaliers lose to the more experienced Sacramento Kings, 106-92.
At the conclusion of the 2008–09 season, James finished second in NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award voting and made his first NBA All-Defensive Team, posting 23 chase-down blocks and a career-high 93 total blocks.
LeBron James had his best defensive rating this season, with a 111.4 rating.
James is a four-time league MVP with four championship rings, but he won his only scoring title in 2008 with Cleveland. The 18-time All-Star was attempting to become the oldest scoring champion in NBA history by surpassing Michael Jordan, who was 35 when he won his final title.
The Sacramento Kings had the worst defensive rating by a team in 2020-21, with a 117.2 rating.
It changed the defensive rules, optimised the three-second rule and banned hand checking: defenders can no longer place and keep their hands on an opponent if he isn't close to the basket and with his back turned.