Michael and LeBron go one-on-one ... verbally

Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:49pm EST
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By Steve Ginsburg

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Michael Jordan never played against LeBron James but that has not stopped the two from going one-on-one over how to determine greatness on the basketball court.

Jordan, widely hailed as the best player of all-time and who turns 50 on Sunday, believes it is all about championship rings, while James, 28, thinks that view is a little too simplistic.

The debate has been the chief talking point of reporters and players in the run-up to the National Basketball Association's (NBA) All-Star game in Houston on Sunday.

In an interview on NBA-TV to be aired Monday, Jordan took a swipe at James, saying his one championship could not compare with the five won by Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.

"If you had to pick between the two, that would be a tough choice, but five beats one every time I look at it, and not that he (James) won't get five, he may get more than that, but five is bigger than one."

James, a nine-time All-Star and three-time NBA Most Valuable Player, told reporters covering Sunday's All-Star game that was just Jordan's opinion.

"At the end of the day, rings don't always define someone's career," said James. "If that's the case, I would sit up and here and say (Bill) Russell over Jordan. But I wouldn't.

"Russell has 11 rings and Jordan has six. Or I would take (seven-time NBA champion) Robert Horry over Kobe. I wouldn't do that."   Continued...