Jalen Rose on LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate: 'LeBron hasn't been able to three-peat'

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The NBA’s 75th anniversary season is prime ground for debates around the league’s GOAT, usually between Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

In the latest episode of the “Posted Up with Chris Haynes” podcast, ESPN analyst and “Renaissance Man” podcast host Jalen Rose gave his take on what should settle the debate.

“Here’s the mic drop: LeBron hasn’t been able to three-peat. MJ did it two separate times,” Rose said on “Posted Up.” “In MJ’s era, and I played against MJ and LeBron, you ain’t getting no rings in that six-year window. Nobody was getting rings.”

Jordan won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls: three from 1991-93 and three more from 1996-98 only interrupted by two Houston Rockets titles.

James, meanwhile, has four titles with three teams: 2012 and 2013 Miami Heat, 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2020 Los Angeles Lakers. James’ chance for a three-peat fell short when the Heat lost in the 2014 NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs. He left Miami following that season for his second stint in Cleveland.

Michael Jordan and LeBron James shake hands during the 2014 NBA playoffs.
Is there finally criteria for settling the NBA GOAT debate between Michael Jordan and LeBron James, shown during the 2014 NBA playoffs? (David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“Here was LeBron’s chance to pass MJ for like true, non-biased basketball historians, if he would’ve stayed in Miami and they would’ve actually did not five, not six, not seven. That was his chance to do it,” Rose said on “Posted Up.” “... If they would have won four in six years, or something like that … they won two in four years. They didn’t really do what they set out to do.

“So he needed to go to Cleveland to raise one for his city, his hometown, his home state, but also to reinvent himself. You know the hardest thing to do is, when people are like, to build a new situation. No, the hardest thing to do is to stay. That’s the hardest thing.”

Listen to the full episode of “Posted Up with Chris Haynes” featuring guest Jalen Rose now and subscribe for the latest episodes throughout the season.

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