Erik Spoelstra on comparing LeBron and MJ debate: ‘The game is different now’

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (center) holds his fourth MVP trophy next to head coach Erik Spoelstra (left) and Heat president Pat Riley (right) at the American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (center) holds his fourth MVP trophy next to head coach Erik Spoelstra (left) and Heat president Pat Riley (right) at the American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs meet in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night and with it comes the stigma of LeBron James “catching” Michael Jordan in the history books.

However, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says that trying to compare the two is “apples and oranges … you’ll never be able to tell [how James stacks up to Jordan or Magic Johnson] because they didn’t play against each other. The game is different now than when it was played in the 1980s or even before that.”

Spoelstra may be right, but winning this series would surely help LeBron’s case for “Greatest Player of All-Time.” Just like MJ’s Bulls of the ’90s, another ring would go a long way towards cementing this Heat team as a dynasty for this decade.

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