ESPN’s The Last Dance just wrapped up and it was a powerful five week documentary that took a deep dive into the final year of the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty and Michael Jordan’s career with the franchise. It gave diehard Jordan fans another chance to relive his glory days and a new generation of fans a glimpse into his greatness.
This 10 episode docuseries also gave NBA fans plenty to debate about including topics like:
Should Isaiah Thomas have been on The Dream Team?
Was Michael Jordan a bully to his teammates?
Could the Bulls have won a 7th title in 1998-99?
Additionally, the docuseries reignited the comparisons between LeBron James and Michael Jordan. But, not only do we have more chatter about this debate over who the greatest player of all-time is, NBA betting sites are now listing basketball odds on who would win in a one-on-one game.
Before picking a winner, we need to look at the facts for this basketball bet. First and foremost, this wager is based on a 57 year old Michael Jordan playing against a 35 year old LeBron James.
This isn’t a bet based on the two superstars playing against each other in their primes, rather it’s them playing this year in their current physical conditions. James has the advantages in height, weight and size over Jordan. He will also have the cardio and stamina advantages as well.
So, you can throw out the career stats for this bet. Go ahead and ignore Jordan’s 6-0 record in the NBA Finals compared to James’ 3-6 record. This wager is all about whether or not you think a 57 year old Jordan can beat a 35 year old LeBron James who doesn’t turn 36 until December.
Jordan vs James Prop Bets
In addition to odds on who will win, BetOnline also has the following prop bets for this hypothetical one-on-one game:
Player to Commit the Most Fouls:
LeBron James (-300)
Michael Jordan (+200)
I really find it hard to believe that online NBA betting sites favor James to commit the most fouls. Keep in mind, LeBron can back down Jordan every possession, post him up and have a better chance at scoring than Jordan shooting from the outside.
James posting up would lead to more physical contact from Jordan and more fouls. Defensively, James’s best strategy is to play off Jordan and let the 57 year old shoot from the outside. I doubt the shot is still as deadly as it once was.
For this prop bet, go with Jordan committing the most fouls.
Bron says he got to play pickup against MJ when he was 16 years old.
MJ hit the game-winner and reportedly said "That's why they pay me $33M to do this." 😤
Since I believe Jordan will commit the most fouls, I also believe that James will end up making the first free throw as he will get to the charity stripe first. James is a career 73.6% free throw shooter while Jordan shot 83%.
Once again, I question just how accurate Jordan’s shooting is at this age even from the FT line. I’m taking James for this prop bet.
Makes First Free Throw –LeBron James (-110)
Player to Score First Point:
LeBron James (-150)
Michael Jordan (+110)
This prop bet could largely depend on who gets the ball first. With that said, based on my arguments above, if Jordan gets the rock first then I see him missing his first shot.
However, I see James making his first basket which means I also see him scoring the first point in this matchup regardless if he gets the first possession or not.
Scores First Point –LeBron James (-150)
Who Wins Between Jordan and James?
Let’s settle this debate right now – Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all-time. He’s better than LeBron James and I say this as someone who was never a fan of Jordan when he played other than his stint with the 1992 Dream Team.
I do believe James is the better all-around player when it comes to making his teammates better. But, this is a one-on-one comparison and really there’s no way James beats Jordan in a head to head battle during their respective primes. James wouldn’t be able to stop Jordan driving to the basket.
With that said, this prop bet doesn’t ask about their primes, but rather it asks about the two playing against each other right now. And, in my opinion, there’s absolutely no way that Jordan wins.
James is 22 years younger than Jordan along with having all of the physical advantages. Furthermore, he’s in basketball shape whereas Jordan is not. Mike might be able to knock down some shots, but he’s not able to beat a younger, physical specimen like James.
LeBron is still taking on the best basketball players in the world and averaging 25.1 ppg this past season along with 7.9 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game. Prior to the NBA shutting down, LeBron was 11th in scoring while leading the league in assists per game.
This isn’t a washed up LeBron we’re talking about here. This is an elite athlete that’s still performing at a high level. He doesn’t need to score as much because he has a legit #2 in Anthony Davis who was averaging 26.7 ppg, which is 9th in the league.
Instead, LeBron is being a facilitator and making the Lakers a better team. In fact, they were the odds on favorites to win the NBA title for most of the season.
This prop bet is comical at best. Jordan was a shell of himself when he finished his career with the Washington Wizards in 2003. He averaged just 21.5 ppg in the two seasons he played with the Wizards by far the lowest of his career.
If he’s not even capable of playing at an elite level during the final years of his NBA career when he was 40 years old, there’s no way that a 57 year old Jordan can hang with James in 2020 despite being the GOAT. There’s no more air left in “Air Jordan.” He’s now the “slow and grounded” Jordan as age gets all of us in the end.
I’m shocked these odds aren’t more in favor of James. Take James to win this bet and laugh like Jordan in the tweet at the beginning of this article as you beat the sports betting sites in a one-on-one matchup.
Who Wins Between Jordan and James? –LeBron James (-500)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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