One of the favorite recurring stories in the sports media is comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan. Every time The King does something good or bad, the media looks at it through the lens of MJ. There are a number of reasons as to why this is unfair to both players.

Number one, the game changes, basketball has become much less physical than it was when Jordan was playing. Another reason is that LeBron James plays much closer to Magic Johnson than Michael Jordan. Lastly, it is impossible to compare individual players from different eras because it is disregarding all other parties involved.

The game changes

The game of basketball in the 90's resembled something of a combination of basketball and wrestling. There are flagrant fouls that are called now that would not have even warranted a whistle in the 90's. This has lead to many former players calling the league soft, but this can be expected, after all, these are some of the most competitive people in the world and of course, they would think that their era of basketball was better and tougher.

Every era of professional basketball plays the game in a different way. Back in the day, the NBA was a big man's league, in order to win championships, a team needed a dominant big man. With the inception of the three-point line, basketball became more of a guard's game, and now with player safety becoming an issue, the game is much less physical.

These changes in the game are out of the players' control and they have to deal with what they are dealt.

LBJ closer to Magic than Michael

Because LeBron James is the most dominant player of his generation the obvious player to compare him to would be the most recent player that dominated the league in the same sort of fashion, Michael Jordan.

The only problem is that these two players don't really play a similar game. MJ was a born scorer, that was, by far, his best attribute as a player.

James, on the other hand, is difficult to pigeonhole into one thing he does best. Sure he can score with the best of them, but he loves to set his teammates up, is a great defender when he puts his mind to it and may be the most athletic specimen to play the game.

One of the reason's that LeBron is considered a rung below MJ is because he doesn't seem to have that killer instinct at the end of a game that says, "Give me the ball, I'm scoring." LeBron says, "Give me the ball, I will find the best shot," sometimes that means he will take the last shot, other times he will pass to an open teammate. LeBron has always played closer to Magic Johnson in that regard, he is always looking to make the right basketball play.

Too many moving parts

One of the biggest problems with comparing players from different eras is that it is not as simple as just comparing MJ and LeBron. One of the first items that are brought up are the championships. If championships were the main barometer of the greatest player ever, why is nobody mentioning Bill Russell who won 11 championships in his 13 years in the league?

The conversation of championships leads into how difficult the road was on the way to a championship, who had an easier path. The next thing to be mentioned is the amount of help that the superstar had on the team. Many say that Michael Jordan did more with less with the Bulls, but that is easy to say now that we are 20 years removed from the team, and maybe the view on the Cavs will change 20 years down the line.

The reason this is one of the more popular debates out there in the sports world is that there is no way to prove either answer. MJ's Bulls are not gonna hop out of a time machine and take on LeBron and the Cavs. The argument has no way of being resolved and people will use their biases to come to a conclusion that is difficult to change. The only thing that can be critically argued is if LeBron James is the best player of his generation.