LeBron James faced more scrutiny than Michael Jordan EVER did, argues Shannon Sharpe

Shannon Sharpe and Steven A. Smith react to Rich Paul's statement about the scrutiny faced by LeBron James.

LeBron James faced more scrutiny than Michael Jordan EVER did, argues Shannon Sharpe

LeBron James and Michael Jordan (Image via: ESPN and Bleacher Report)

Shannon Sharpe defends Rich Paul’s take on the scrutiny faced by LeBron James. Sharpe argues that Michael Jordan never had to constantly face the scrutiny that LeBron faces. Ever since the advent of social media, media involvement in basketball has increased exponentially. 

Sharpe told Steven A. Smith on First Take that “Social media has turned a common person into a head coach, General Manager, scout and now they can have an opinion.” “Michael would score 50 points but no one would say, well Larry [Bird] would’ve scored 60, Magic would’ve scored 70.


Rich Paul, the CEO of Klutch Sports, manages a roster of high-profile NBA players like James, Draymond Green, and Zach Lavine. Paul recently said on NBA Legend Gilbert Arenas‘ podcast that LeBron faces more scrutiny than Jordan. Paul also added that LeBron is often not credited with the success that he provides for his team. He claims that if Stephen Curry had won the 2020 NBA championship, he would have received far more credit than Lebron. 

Related: “Gets credit for blowing a 3-1 lead and crying for a top 3 player” – LeBron James’ agent claims Stephen Curry wouldn’t be discredited for ‘bubble ring’, NBA fans agree

Which NBA era had tougher competition, the 90s or the modern era?

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LeBron James and Michael Jordan (Image via: Sporting News)

It often comes down to which camp one is in: the Jordan camp or the LeBron camp. Fans of Michael Jordan claim that the 80s were a more physical and tougher era to play in, often calling today’s players soft. On the other hand, the modern era, which is dominated by spaced floors and three-point shooting, requires a significantly higher skill threshold.


Nostalgia often plays a significant role in the comparison between eras. Players and spectators alike usually prefer their own era. Perhaps this is just a classic case of viewing an event through rose-tinted glasses. The 90s, a period defined by defense, is often given more credit than what is due. It is often left unnoticed that zone defenses were illegal in the 90s, allowing high-volume slashers to play one one-on-one with often slow-footed defenders and had a significantly shorter three-point line, making scoring far easier.

Sharpe is also a massive fan of LeBron James, often attending James’ games courtside. Sharpe has been quoted numerous times claiming LeBron James as the Greatest of All Time, whereas Steven A. Smith holds the contrary opinion and considers Jordan as the GOAT.

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