A week ago, Michael Jordan was doing a Q&A at his basketball camp when he answered a favorite question of hoops heads the world over: Could Jordan, in his prime, beat LeBron James? “No question,” His Airness said.
A few days later LeBron weighed in and, surprise, surprise, said, “I take myself.” He added, "I’m gonna take myself versus anybody." So it's not just Jordan. LeBron also thinks he'd beat Air Bud.
It's hardly shocking that two of the greatest athletes of all time think they’re hot shit. We’re just bummed this competition will never actually happen, given mankind’s inability to travel through time.
So instead, we turn to another comparison between the two greatest NBA players of all time who didn’t play for the Lakers—money. Specifically endorsement money, the one true measure of a man’s worth as a human being. And this week, thanks to Jordan's lawsuit against a grocery store that used his image without permission, we’ve learned how much money he makes from endorsements 11 years after giving up the game: In 2014 it was $100 million.
$100 million! That's $10 million more than the salary he made in his 13-season NBA career. It's an absurd amount of money. And LeBron? He made all of $53 million in endorsement dollars last year. It was more than any other active athlete in the world except for Tiger Woods, but still half of Jordan’s haul.
LeBron might be The King, but he's got a long way to go to catch the GOAT.
Photos by VINCENT LAFORET/AFP/Getty Images