Patrick Ewing Prefers Michael Jordan Over LeBron for His Scoring and Passing Prowess

Ewing Shares Insights on Basketball Legends' Unique Qualities.

by Nouman Rasool
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Patrick Ewing Prefers Michael Jordan Over LeBron for His Scoring and Passing Prowess
© Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

In a revealing interview with Dan Patrick in 2016, NBA legend Patrick Ewing offered his unique perspective on the perennial debate comparing Michael Jordan and LeBron James, two of the sport's all-time greats. Having battled Jordan on the court from their college days through their professional careers, Ewing's insights carry the weight of firsthand experience.

Drafted just one year after Jordan, in 1985, Ewing's tenure in the NBA overlapped significantly with MJ's, providing him a front-row seat to Jordan's dominance in the same conference. When pressed by Patrick to choose between Jordan and James, Ewing unhesitatingly favored Michael Jordan.

Ewing praised LeBron's exceptional talent in the modern era but underscored a fundamental difference in their approaches to the game. "LeBron James is a great player in this era," Ewing acknowledged, "But he is not Michael Jordan.

Michael was a killer, an assassin on the court, whereas LeBron is more of a facilitator."

Jordan's Killer Instinct

Ewing elaborated on this distinction, noting Jordan's relentless scoring drive, suggesting that if you passed him the ball, "he's thinking he's going to score 50 on you, then he's gonna pass." This killer instinct, according to Ewing, made Jordan the preferable choice not only as the better player but also as the more desirable teammate.

Reflecting on his selection for a hypothetical 'foxhole' companion, Ewing remarked, "You want to know if they have your back. And not to say that LeBron would not, but with Michael, I know what he brings to the table." Throughout their numerous encounters, including 70 regular and playoff games, Jordan's competitive edge was evident, besting Ewing's teams 49 times.

Their rivalry peaked during the playoffs, where Jordan's Bulls consistently overcame Ewing's Knicks. Beyond their NBA battles, Ewing and Jordan shared the glory of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, securing a gold medal with the legendary Dream Team.

Ewing also commented on the broader debate over the 'greatest of all time,' acknowledging the difficulty of comparing across different eras but affirming Jordan's supremacy in his own era. While he conceded that Kobe Bryant came closest to Jordan's legacy, for Ewing, no one has surpassed MJ's impact on the game.

Reflecting on the years since his conversation with Patrick, Ewing's comparison remains a topic of interest, especially as LeBron continues to break records and redefine his legacy. With James recently surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA's scoring leader and becoming the first player to score 40,000 career points, the debate over the greatest of all time is as lively as ever.

Yet, Ewing's testimony offers a compelling narrative, rooted in the fierce competitions and unparalleled achievements of Michael Jordan's storied career.

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