Victor Wembanyama wants victories, not individual feats, after he joined Michael Jordan in the NBA record books.

Wembanyama became just the second NBA rookie, after Jamaal Tinsley in 2001, to post at least five points, five rebounds, five assists, five steals and five blocks in a single game. He is just the second player to have five blocks and as many steals in successive games, after the great Jordan.

However, his efforts proved fruitless for the San Antonio Spurs, who lost 113-108 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

Wembanyama finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and five blocks. He is just the 15th player in the NBA to record a 5x5.

But for the overall number one draft pick, wins are the priority.

"To me, it's secondary," Wembanyama said. "Hopefully in the future, and think this is a good performance, but as of today, I can't be satisfied with a loss."

LeBron James returned from injury to score 30 points for the Lakers, while Anthony Davis had 28 points and 13 rebounds.

"Of course it was challenging [going against] one of the best duos in the league," Wembanyama said of facing two of the NBA's star players.

"But still, I think it's a lot of teams we beat if we play this way.

"But I think it came down to maturity at the end because each and every one of us was making a mistake each of the times.

"Little mistakes, missing a layup, turning the ball over. We went down, we went back to down four, down seven multiple times and that's when we did mistakes. So yeah, it's maturity."

Even though the Spurs have lost 10 of their last 11 games, James believes the sky truly is the limit for Wembanyama.

"He doesn't have a ceiling," James said.

"He can do whatever he wants to do with his career. It seems like he enjoys the game. It seems like he puts in the work. Just from the outside looking in, I'm not with him on a day-to-day basis, but I said a long time ago how special he was, and it's literally that simple.

"There are guys in our league that you have to account for any time you get around the rim or around the perimeter in our league history, and he sits right at the top of it, [if not] around the top, with all the greats.

"He's one of them to have like a stellar rookie season. Guys that have come in and [dominated]. But, it's, can you sustain it? We've had guys that have come in and [have] just been really damn [good]."

The Lakers returned to winning ways following their loss to the Golden State Warriors, but coach Darvin Ham was not entirely satisfied with the performance.

"You want your team to constantly look within and try to make plays and force the other team to put you in uncomfortable positions," Ham said.

"Not you put yourself in those uncomfortable positions, whether it's not sprinting back in transition or allowing teams to get two or three offensive rebounds. Or, you know, fouling because we're not in position because we're not doing our work early. And then going down the other end and not trusting the execution.

"We've got a bunch of weapons, but they're useless if we don't do the little things, sprinting hard when we get the ball in transition, not turning it over, maintaining spacing, making sure we get hits on screens to create an advantage and making the simple, easy play."

Damian Lillard was honoured to achieve a feat only previously accomplished by Michael Jordan on the NBA's All-Star weekend. 

Lillard saw off competition from the Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns and the Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young to win the 3-point contest on Saturday, then he dazzled again one day later.

The Milwaukee Bucks guard was named All-Star Game MVP after putting up 39 points as the Eastern Conference All-Stars recorded a 211-186 win over their Western Conference counterparts. 

Chicago Bulls legend Jordan is the only previous player to complete such a double, having taken the 1988 dunk contest before winning the first of his three All-Star MVP trophies.

For Lillard, who was appearing in his eighth All-Star Game but his first as a starter, following in Jordan's footsteps made it all the more memorable. 

"Anytime you're mentioned in the same category as Mike, it's an honour, it's a major accomplishment, even if it's All-Star weekend," Lillard said during his post-game news conference. 

"Because if it was that simple, more people would have done it. I'm a vet in the game at this point. Why not go and try to get an MVP? I've been here enough."

However, a perceived lack of competitiveness in Sunday's All-Star Game – the highest-scoring in history – led to criticism from some quarters. 

The league's all-time leading scorer LeBron James said the All-Star Game "is something we need to figure out", with players unwilling to risk injury in the mid-season exhibition. 

Asked for his views on that debate, Lillard said: "I think it could be more competitive, 200 is a lot to be scored. It shows we didn't go out there and compete like I guess you would want us to. 

"But I think that's just what it is. Guys are talented, they make a lot of shots. We hit a lot of 3s, and that was it."

Lillard joined the Bucks in a blockbuster trader from the Portland Trail Blazers ahead of the season, but his first campaign in Milwaukee has been a turbulent one. 

The Bucks fired coach Adrian Griffin last month, bringing in Doc Rivers after a short interim stint for Joe Prunty. They sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 35-21 record, but have lost five of their last seven games.

"It's been a tough year with the transition to a new team, we've had three coaches since I've been there," Lillard said.

"Anytime you have these types of experiences where you have adversity, that's the time you've got to show who you really are. 

"Keep doing what you do, keep believing, and when you do that, usually it comes back to you. You just can't fold."

Andre Drummond accepts the legacy of Michael Jordan's legendary exploits with the Chicago Bulls puts additional pressure on the team.

However, ahead of the new NBA season, the two-time All-Star center is relishing being part of the Bulls' attempts to recapture their former glories, saying he and his team-mates have a unique standard to uphold.

All six of Chicago's NBA championships were captured with the help of Hall of Famer Jordan, who helped popularise the league on a global scale by leading the team to two three-peats, the first coming between 1991 and 1993 and the second between 1996 and 1998.

While Jordan helped make the Bulls one of the NBA's most iconic franchises, they have struggled to hit anything close to those heights in recent years.

Chicago has missed the playoffs in five of the last six years, failing to build on an encouraging 2021-22 campaign. Last season they were beaten by the Miami Heat in April's play-in tournament.

With the Bulls hoping to fare better when the new season tips off this week, Drummond needs no reminder of their illustrious history.

"Michael Jordan's name is known everywhere," he told Stats Perform. "No matter where you go, no matter what country you go to, if you say the name Michael Jordan, someone knows who he is.

"You can say the same thing for LeBron [James] too. I feel like LeBron is up there now with one of the most notable people in the world.

"But Michael Jordan, his name rings bells. Not only as a basketball player but just how he was as a person. He has brought a lot of hope to this city, he brought a lot of championships here, and he's brought in a lot of money here, too."

Asked whether Jordan's achievements put a unique level of pressure on Chicago, Drummond said: "I've only been here a year and a half, so I don't really understand the gravity of how much it means. 

"But I feel like this year, I'll feel it more because I have my feet wet, being here and seeing the fanbase and how they really love Chicago basketball.

"Whether we are good or not, they are still coming out every night, so it is starting to set in a little bit.

"As I look around the arena, I'm like, 'some great players have stepped on this floor, man'.

"I feel like you have a standard to uphold as a Chicago Bull, and I feel like that's the pride that we need to walk with.

"Chicago Bulls are one of the most celebrated teams in the world. You go around the country and see people wearing the Bulls attire. 

"You may see some Lakers, you may see some Knicks or Boston maybe, but the Bulls, everybody loves the Bulls. I don't know what it is or why it's like that, I don't know what it is. 

"Even as a kid, I would see people all the way in Connecticut wearing Chicago Bulls gear, and they've never been to Chicago in their life. Everybody just loves the Bulls! 

"I think it's just a very celebrated team and a celebrated city and you have to uphold that standard."

The Bulls begin their 2023-24 campaign with back-to-back home games, facing the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday before the Toronto Raptors visit United Center on Friday.

Joel Embiid's 2023 MVP win shows the influence the 1992 United States men's team had on growing basketball globally, believes former coach Justin Harden.

The Philadelphia 76ers man claimed the league's top individual honour after back-to-back finalist finishes behind Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Embiid, who hails from Cameroon, averaged 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists over 66 games, becoming the third straight international player to win the award following Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jokic.

Harden, who coached Embiid during his senior year at The Rock School in Florida, feels his success underlines how the United States team that conquered the 1992 Olympic Games helped grow the sport globally.

Commonly referred to as the 'Dream Team', the squad was the first to feature professional NBA players, with a team including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird cruising to gold medal success in Barcelona.

"When you think about who's in the top ten players [in the NBA], a good host of them are international players," Harden told Stats Perform.

"From Nikola Jokic to Giannis [Antetokounmpo] to Luka Doncic, [and] then you've got a guy who is undoubtedly going to be the number one pick [in Victor] Wembanyama.

"I can imagine he's going to be great too. I think it just is a testament to the Dream Team and their influence on what they did for international basketball playing in Barcelona.

"There's great coaching all throughout the world. The United States is not necessarily the epicentre or the only option for great basketball to be played.

"It's awesome to see that these guys are going to be MVP. Luka could be the next MVP, and then you have four in a row that are international guys.

"I think it's really neat to see that our game has become such a global sport, because when Joel was here, we had 13 guys on our team, and seven of them were international players, five of them from the continent of Africa.

"We've always cherished what international players can bring to our programme."

Having known Embiid from such a young age, Harden is proud of both the player and the man Embiid has become, saying: "I'm super excited for him. I mean, this is like a breakthrough moment. 

"He's had a couple of runner-up finishes, and so it's good to see him be able to break through and have another great season, I think his third in a row.

"I think this was the best one because he withstood from being injured. I think the last two seasons were hampered by his injuries and so out of his control, but his play was certainly great.

"I'm super excited for him. He's a good guy. I knew him when he was a boy, a young boy becoming a man.

"Now he's a grown man. He's got a family. As much as I'm excited to see him win MVP, I'm also equally excited to see him as a father and as a husband."

Michael Jordan is reportedly engaged in serious talks to sell a majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets.

Five-time NBA MVP Jordan became the only black majority owner in the league when he paid $275million for a controlling stake in the franchise in 2010.

Jordan then sold a significant minority stake to Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim in 2020, and an ESPN report suggests Sundheim is part of a group now looking to gain control of the Hornets.

While a deal is not said to be imminent, the report added Jordan was expected to retain a minority stake in the franchise, with Plotkin likely to join Rick Schnall as a co-governor of the team.

The Hornets have only enjoyed two postseason runs during Jordan's 13-year period as majority owner, last doing so in 2016.

Charlotte are currently 14th in the 15-team Eastern Conference, having seen their record for the season slump to 22-49 with Tuesday's 120-104 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After LeBron James' scoring record celebrations last weekend, it is fellow NBA legend Michael Jordan's turn to party in the coming days.

The former Chicago Bulls (and Washington Wizards) superstar turned 60 on Friday.

Stats Perform has marked the occasion by recapping some of the most remarkable numbers of his career – from one to 60.


1 – Since the ABA–NBA merger, Jordan is the only player to have scored 60 or more points in a playoff game, finishing with 63 in a double overtime defeat to the Boston Celtics in 1986.

2 – As if dominating in the games that mattered was not enough, Jordan twice won the Slam Dunk Contest in 1987 and 1988. At the time, he was the only player to have won it back-to-back.

3 – Jordan was the All-Star Game MVP on three occasions, beaten only by Kobe Bryant, who the award is now named after, and Bob Pettit.

4 – In the regular season, Jordan scored 60 or more points in four different games. Bryant (six) is the sole player to have topped that feat since the merger.

5 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) alone has won more MVP awards in the regular season than Jordan's five.

6 – Jordan boasts a remarkable 6-0 Finals record and was named Finals MVP on each occasion. No player can match his six such awards.

7 – In leading the league in scoring between 1986-87 and 1992-93, Jordan tied Wilt Chamberlain's record by doing so in seven straight seasons. They are the only two players to lead the league in scoring in any seven seasons.

8 – Jordan scored 50 or more points in eight different playoff games, a dominant record. Allen Iverson is his nearest challenger with three such performances since the merger.

9 – As well as being a legendary scorer, Jordan was named to the All-Defensive First Team on nine occasions. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1988.

10 – Jordan led the league in scoring in a record 10 seasons across his career, following up his streak of seven in a row by doing so in 1995-96 to 1997-98.

11 – In his rookie season, Jordan led the league in total points (2,313), although Bernard King and Larry Bird were ahead in scoring average. Along with his 10 seasons as NBA scoring champion, Jordan led the league in total points 11 times.

12 – Jordan needed only 12 games of his rookie season to reach 300 points, the fewest since the merger.

13 – Led by Jordan, the Bulls lost only 13 games across the regular season and postseason in 1995-96. Their combined 87-13 record remains the best of all time.

14 – Jordan was a 14-time All-Star. In a 15-season career, he was not selected only in the 1994-95 season when he came out of retirement after the All-Star Game. He missed the 1986 game through injury.

15 – Jordan is one of 15 players to have made more than 10,000 field goals in the regular season. He ranks fifth on 12,192.

16 – The NBA named Jordan its Player of the Month on 16 occasions, with all of those wins coming before the award was split by conference from the 2001-02 season.

17 – Jordan made 17 field goals in the 1988 All-Star Game, tying a Chamberlain record. It stood for a further 26 years before being broken by Blake Griffin.

18 – An early highlight of Jordan's career saw him score the Bulls' final 18 points in a win against the New York Knicks. No player in the NBA had previously scored 18 points in a row, although he broke his own record by scoring 23 straight in a 61-point game against the Atlanta Hawks.

19 – Of the 119 playoff wins Jordan played in, 19 were by at least a 20-point margin.

20 – Jordan's scoring average of 20.0 in his final season in 2002-03 was comfortably the lowest of his career. Only LeBron James (20 – including 2022-23), Abdul Jabbar and Karl Malone (both 17) have averaged 20 or more points in more than Jordan's 15 seasons.

21 – Jordan was 21 at the start of his rookie season, but he averaged 27.7 points before his birthday. That is the best average of any player before their 22nd birthday since the merger.

22 – At the end of his rookie season, Jordan, aged 22, became the youngest player ever to score 30 points in consecutive playoff games. That record was later broken by Bryant.

23 – The number Jordan wore is forever associated with his remarkable career. It was retired by the Bulls but also by the Miami Heat ahead of their final game against him.

24 – Jordan made a move to point guard for the final 24 games of the 1988-89 regular season and dominated in a whole new way. He had 12 triple-doubles over that stretch – he only had 28 across his entire career – as he averaged 30.4 points, 10.7 assists and 9.2 rebounds.

25 – Jordan won his first Player of the Week award in January 1985 and his last 18 years later in January 2003, just three months before he retired for good. That was his 25th win.

26 – In the 1997 All-Star Game, Jordan recorded the event's first ever triple-double. He had 14 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds in 26 minutes.

27 – Jordan played more playoff games against the Knicks than against any other team, averaging 33.1 points across those 27 games.

28 – A sign of what was to come saw Jordan score 28.2 points per game in his rookie season, a record since the merger.

29 – Of Jordan's 32,292 regular season career points, 29,277 came playing for the Bulls. Discounting his points for the Wizards, Jordan still ranks above Shaquille O'Neal, who is eighth on the all-time NBA scoring list.

30 – Jordan's 30.1 career points per game in the regular season rank him first all time. Only Chamberlain (also 30.1) is also above 30.

31 – Since the merger, no player can match Jordan's 31 50-point games in the regular season. Modern greats like James (14) and Stephen Curry (11) have less than half as many such performances.

32 – Jordan scored 246 points in the 1993 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns, just 32 fewer than Jerry West's 278 against the Baltimore Bullets in the 1965 playoffs – the most ever by a winning player in a single series.

33 – A career playoff scoring average of 33.4 remains unmatched, although Luka Doncic (32.5), Jordan's nearest rival, is still going strong.

34 – The Portland Trail Blazers were Jordan's favourite regular season opponents as he averaged 34.0 points in such matchups, although he averaged 34.8 against the Utah Jazz when counting only games as a starter.

35 – Jordan scored 20 or more points in a record 35 straight Finals games between 1991 and 1998. That sequence included scoring a benchmark 35 in a single half against the 1992 Trail Blazers.

36 – Jordan played in 37 playoff series for the Bulls and was the leading scorer in 36 of those, beaten only by the Milwaukee Bucks' Terry Cummings during his rookie year.

37 – The best scoring season of Jordan's career saw him average 37.1 points per game in 1986-87, a mark only beaten by Chamberlain (four times) and Elgin Baylor.

38 – Jordan's final 50-point game came in the 2001-02 season, aged 38. He was the oldest player to have such a performance until Jamal Crawford in 2019.

39 – Although later known as a legendary postseason winner, Jordan did not come out on top in a playoff series until his fourth attempt. His 39 points in Game 5 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1988 took the Bulls beyond the first round.

40 – In scoring 43 points in 43 minutes against the New Jersey Nets four days after his 40th birthday, Jordan became the first and only player to score 40 points in a game aged 40 or older.

41 – Jordan still boasts the best scoring average for a Finals series with his 41.0 against the Suns in 1993.

4​2 – Even in his final season, Jordan scored 20 points or more in 42 games. He did so in at least 70 regular season games in 10 separate seasons and in 926 games over the course of his career.

43 – Across three playoff games in 1986, Jordan averaged 43.7 points – an NBA high for a single postseason.

44 – The 1988-89 season that included 15 Jordan triple-doubles also unsurprisingly saw a career-high for double-doubles. He had 44 in the regular season as he averaged highs in both assists and rebounds (both 8.0).

45 – Jordan played his final playoff game in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals against the Jazz and scored 45 points in a one-point win.

46 – MJ played four games on his birthday, with his best performance on February 17 seeing him score 46 points against the Cavaliers in 1992.

47 – Jordan ended his career having scored 20 or more points in each of his final 47 playoff games, albeit he later played two more seasons with the Wizards without making the postseason.

48 – Jordan finished having played 48,485 minutes across the regular season and postseason for his career.

49 – MJ attempted a career-high 49 field goals in a 64-point performance against the Orlando Magic in 1993. Only Bryant (50 against the Jazz in 2016) has since attempted more in either the regular season or postseason.

50 – The Bulls relied on Jordan to score more than 50 per cent of their points in four different playoff games, including his last with the team. The Bulls won each time.

51 – Jordan shot 51.5 per cent from the field in his rookie season. No guard has made more field goals in a rookie season (837).

52 – Before Jordan returned with 17 games remaining of the 1994-95 regular season, seeing the Bulls go 13-4 to finish, the team had a middling 52.3 per cent win percentage.

53 – Jordan is the only guard in NBA history to attempt 1,750 field goals in a regular season and make at least 53 per cent – he did so three times.

54 – Jordan scored 54 points in the first game of the 1989-90 season. No player since the merger has scored more in the first game of a new season.

55 – Game 4 of the 1993 Finals saw Jordan score 55 points, his most in a championship series and behind only Baylor's 61 against the Celtics in 1962 all-time.

56 – Jordan's biggest playoff performance in a game that did not go to overtime saw him put up 56 in a 1992 win against the Heat. Legend has it he played a full round of golf on the morning of that game, too.

57 – Jordan had a 24-11 record in the NBA Finals, but one defeat in the championship series was the longest game of his career. He played 57 minutes in a triple overtime loss to the Suns in Game 3 in 1993.

58 – In a 1987 game against the Nets, Jordan outscored his opponents' entire starting five. The Nets' starters scored 54 to Jordan's 58.

59 – Jordan's great team-mate Scottie Pippen won 73.5 per cent of the 859 career games he played alongside MJ across the regular season and postseason. Pippen won only 59.8 per cent of 527 games when not playing with Jordan.

60 – Jordan scored at least 20 points in a record 60 consecutive playoff games between 1989 and 1993.

Michael Jordan has made a $10million donation to Make-A-Wish America.

The legendary basketball star turns 60 on Friday and to celebrate he has pledged the largest individual donation in Make-A-Wish history.

Jordan, who is the chief wish ambassador for the charity, has supported the foundation since 1989.

The foundation was founded in 1980 and helps fulfil the wishes of children with a critical illness between the ages of two-and-a-half and 18 years old.

A tweet from Make-A-Wish America's official Twitter account said Jordan's "birthday wish is to inspire others to help grant more wishes".

Debates around the greatest of all time in sport can often be as polarising as any other.

Now that LeBron James has surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to stand at the top of the NBA's all-time leading scoring chart though, it seems appropriate to review the case for the 38-year-old to be considered the greatest basketball player of all time.

In what has without question been at least one of the best careers ever seen, James has four NBA championships to his name, as well as four Finals MVPs, four NBA MVPs, 19 All-Star selections and three All-Star MVPs. His 13 All-NBA First Team selections are two more than anybody else.

Enough to make any doubter's eyes water.

Added to that, after overtaking Kareem on Tuesday, he not only stands alone atop the all-time scoring list, but has a real opportunity to pull away and perhaps even go past 40,000 before hanging up his sneakers. He has long been the playoff scoring king, with his 7,631 playoff points already 1,644 clear of second-placed Michael Jordan.

It isn't just racking up the points, he has also passed on his fair share of assists, recently pushing past Steve Nash on that all-time leaderboard, with James now fourth for NBA assists.

As the first pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, it was hardly surprising that James impressed from the start with the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 20.9 points per game (PPG) in his debut season from 79 games.

It was the 2005-06 season where he really exploded, though, averaging 31.4 PPG in the regular season, which remains his highest ever for a campaign, before recording 30.8 PPG in the playoffs, where the Cavs were eliminated in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the Detroit Pistons.

James took Cleveland to the postseason for five straight campaigns, agonisingly losing the 2007 Finals to the San Antonio Spurs, before taking the mantel again in 2009 as he put up 35.3 PPG in 14 playoff outings before more Conference final heartbreak against the Orlando Magic.

The television event titled 'The Decision' was controversial, though undoubtedly captivating as James dramatically revealed he was leaving the Cavs for the Miami Heat in 2010.

However, it turned out to be the catalyst for him to reach the next step as he was immediately surrounded by more talent in Miami, and before long, much-deserved silverware.

Linking up superbly with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, James reached the Finals every year in Florida, winning his first championship in 2012, before following it up in 2013 with another.

His numbers were slightly lower at the Heat than they had been in Cleveland, though that perhaps owed to the fact that when deciding to join Miami, he was joining forces with arguably the league's second-best player at the time in Wade.

James' first title win in 2012 saw him average 30.3 PPG during the postseason, and led the way as he got some revenge on the Spurs in 2013, excelling in Game 7 to win his second championship.

In 2014, James came back to Cleveland with the Ohio-born star's desire to take his team to the promised land for the first time, and he did just that.

Just as he had in Miami, James went to the Finals every year of his second spell with the Cavaliers – resulting in eight consecutive Finals appearances – and every year they played against the dominant Golden State Warriors.

After losing 4-2 in 2015, they returned to get revenge in 2016 as James starred on their way to an almost Hollywood-ending win against the Warriors, securing their first NBA championship after coming back from a 3-1 deficit against a team that set the record for the best regular season ever at 73-9.

They were unable to repeat the trick as the Warriors, with the addition of Kevin Durant, beat them in both the 2017 and 2018 Finals, but reaching four Finals in a row was still more than Cavs fans could have realistically expected.

Unfortunately for them, James was getting itchy feet again.

James had a solid enough start to life in Los Angeles, posting 27.4 PPG for the Lakers in 2018-19, though injury issues sustained by him and several of his new team-mates led to a wobbly season, and therefore, no postseason for the first time for James since 2005.

Inevitably, he came roaring back the following year and in spite of the chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, James and the Lakers returned to win the "bubble championship", the fourth title of his career with a third different team. In doing so, he became the only player in NBA history to win Finals MVP with three franchises.

However, the 2020-21 campaign was one to forget as James recorded his lowest PPG for a season (25.0) since his rookie year, before the Lakers were dumped out of the playoffs in the first round by the Phoenix Suns.

Was it all over for LeBron? Not likely. He responded to that setback by scoring 1,695 points in just 56 games last season at an average of 30.3 PPG, his best regular season return since 2005-06.

James also reached a notable landmark last March, becoming the first player in NBA history to record 10,000 assists and 10,000 rebounds in a career.

Unfortunately for him, his team-mates were unable to match those efforts and the Lakers again failed to even make the playoffs, which could be why they were so desperate to find the funds to tie James' immediate future down as he was given a bumper contract to make him the highest-paid player in the league.

LeBron has thrived again this season, averaging 30.0 PPG from 43 appearances as he tries to drag the Lakers back to the playoffs.

Arguments can of course be made for the player with the most NBA titles Bill Russell, or the man whose name is synonymous with so many NBA records Wilt Chamberlain, while Lakers legends Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant have to be in the conversation also.

However, ask most people who they believe to be the greatest of all time and you wil have to go a long way to find someone who doesn't immediately blurt out the name of Michael Jordan.

The Chicago Bulls icon was a five-time NBA MVP, six-time NBA champion, six-time NBA Finals MVP, 10-time All-NBA First Teamer, 14-time NBA All-Star; won 10 scoring titles and retired with the NBA's highest scoring average of 30.1 PPG.


Jordan was a force of nature who always seemed to raise his game beyond others exactly when his team needed it, while James has experienced more disappointment in clutch scenarios.

He has also taken his team with him to ultimate success more than once, and arguably teams that had more limitations than Jordan's best times at the Bulls.

When you consider that Jordan is also in the argument for the greatest sportsman of all time, it is testament to James that he's even in the conversation.

"It's not heavy. I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to be in this league for at least a few more years," James recently said as he closed in on Kareem's record.

Which is ominous for the rest of the league, quite frankly.

Is he the greatest of all time? As with most discussions on the topic, it probably doesn't matter.

James has scored more points than anyone else to ever compete in the NBA, and that is undisputed.

LeBron James' jersey from Game 7 of the Miami Heat's triumphant 2013 NBA Finals has been bought in New York for $3.68million, making it the third most expensive game-worn jersey ever sold by Sotheby's.

The figure comes in behind Michael Jordan's 1998 NBA Finals Chicago Bulls jersey at $10.91m and Diego Maradona's Argentina jersey from the 1986 World Cup game where he scored the 'Hand of God' goal against England, at $9.28m.

The highest previous figure for a game-worn James jersey was $630,000 from the 2020 All-Star Game.

The Heat clinched the 2013 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 with James scoring 37 points with 12 rebounds and four assists.

James won his fourth NBA MVP crown during the 2012-13 season along with the 2013 NBA Finals MVP, the second of four in his career.

"Today's tremendous result comes at a pivotal time in LeBron James' career, where he is in arm's reach of clinching the all-time points record," Sotheby's expert Brahm Wachter said.

James (38,210) is on track to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA all-time points scoring record (38,387) in the next fortnight.

LeBron James' ability to take care of himself allows the Los Angeles Lakers to still rely on the 38-year-old, says coach Darvin Ham.

Having managed 47 points in Friday's win at the Atlanta Hawks, James scored 43 in the Lakers' 121-115 victory against the Charlotte Hornets, becoming the first player beyond the age of 38 to score 40 or more in consecutive games since Michael Jordan.

James, who also recorded 11 rebounds and six assists at Spectrum Center in almost 40 minutes on court, turned 38 on Friday.

"I just want to ride him," Ham said after the win. "And he allows you to do that because he takes such great care of himself. So, it's a great luxury to have."

James has been in impressive form of late, averaging 34.5 points from his last 11 games. He insisted his consistency is unrelated to carrying more pressure following the recent injury to Anthony Davis, though his form also improved last season when Davis was sidelined.

"Last year is last year," James said when it was put to him. "Obviously, I found a good groove last year. But this year is this year, as well. I feel really good in every facet of my game."

Austin Reaves, who scored 15 points with six rebounds and seven assists in just over 22 minutes of action, also paid tribute to James' conditioning.

"It's incredible," Reaves said. "To see him at his age... the stuff that he does, the way that he moves, the contact that he endures in a full game and just the way that his body has held up this whole time, it's super impressive.

"But it's a testament to what he does on a daily basis. He's always the first one in the training room, the first one taking care of his body and also getting the work in as well. So, to say the least, I'm happy to be on his team."

Roger Federer is the greatest of all time and tennis' equivalent of NBA legend Michael Jordan, according to Frances Tiafoe.

Federer retired in September of this year after one of the most successful careers in tennis history, having won his first grand slam at Wimbledon in 2003.

Playing in one of male tennis' most competitive eras ever alongside Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, Federer went on to win 20 grand slam titles before calling it quits at the age of 41.

Tiafoe, ranked 19th in the world, is a big NBA fan and found a basketball parallel for Federer in the form of Jordan, who won six NBA championships in the 1990s as well as five MVP awards.

Asked which NBA player he would compare Federer with, Tiafoe told The Old man and the Three Podcast: "I would say MJ.

"You think of MJ and you think that brother was crazy and you think of Federer...everything they did, you're just in awe every time you watched them."

Questioned on whether the Jordan comparison meant he viewed Federer as the greatest tennis player ever, Tiafoe replied: "Oh absolutely. Even though Rafa [Nadal] has more grand slams."

Federer once held the record for most grand slams among male players, but he has now been surpassed by both Djokovic and Nadal, the latter of whom leads the way with 22 titles.

Tiafoe overcame Nadal in the fourth round of the US Open this year and compared the Spaniard's mentality to that of the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo.

"I would give Giannis, just from how he approaches the game and the effort he brings every night," added Tiafoe.

"Just because Giannis is coming to kill you every night. He's going to kill you and Rafa has that attitude too.

"Super nice guy, but as soon we get out there you can just feel that aura and it's the same with Giannis."

Djokovic's chase of Nadal at the top of the grand slam leaderboard was hindered in 2022 by his vaccination status, which prevented him playing at the Australian Open or the US Open, the former of which was won by the Mallorcan.

Djokovic did however collect a seventh Wimbledon crown, and will be able to resume hunting down Nadal at the upcoming Australian Open in January having been granted a visa.

Tiafoe compared the 35-year-old to Denver Nuggets star and fellow Serbian Nikola Jokic, who is the reigning NBA MVP having won the prestigious award two seasons running.

"You're watching him [Jokic] play and you just like how but also you're just in awe of his greatness," Tiafoe added. "Like what can't this guy do on a basketball court?

"This guy [is] a freak. It doesn't look your most traditional way or how you want it to look or whatever.

"Same with Novak. It's not like the prettiest game ever but these guys just get it done."

Michael Malone reflected on the "pretty cool" moment he was able to present Nikola Jokic with the first Michael Jordan MVP award on a night he shone again for the Denver Nuggets.

It was announced on Tuesday the prestigious prize, won two seasons running by Jokic, would be renamed in honour of the Chicago Bulls legend – seen by many as the greatest player of all time.

Jokic received the trophy following the Nuggets' high-scoring 141-128 victory over the Washington Wizards, a game where the Serbian had a season's best 43 points alongside 14 rebounds and eight assists.

He finished 17-of-20 from the field, missing only once inside the three-point line in a matchup lacking in defense.

Head coach Malone said of handing the MVP prize to Jokic: "Just had a really cool moment giving Nikola Jokic his MVP trophy in the locker room and the first ever Michael Jordan MVP award.

"It was pretty neat to give him that and the players to give him as much love as they gave him. 

"We got the win, we have to be better taking care of it, our three-point defense, it's going to bite us in the butt soon. So, if we can win a game with our offense it's better than losing a game with our defense."

The Nuggets put up 98 of their points inside the paint, the second most recorded in NBA history.

"I had no idea we were close to breaking the record, DeAndre Jordan pointed out with around 3:30 to go in the game and I was shocked you don't see that number very often," Malone added.

"I wanted us to get 100, but I wasn't going to take a shot that last possession, that's not how you play the game especially when you have a friend on the other end. 

"Incredible number, obviously no defensive player of the game tonight because there was no defense in the game!"

This season's MVP winner in the NBA regular season will be the first recipient of the Michael Jordan Trophy.

The NBA announced on Tuesday the renaming of the award after the former Chicago Bulls star, widely considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time, who won the MVP award himself five times during his career.

The Michael Jordan Trophy is the headline of six newly-designed trophies, which includes a new award for Clutch Player of the Year, named after Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West, the only player to win the Finals MVP award as part of the losing team when he did so in 1969.

The Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy will be awarded to the Defensive Player of the Year, the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy for Rookie of the Year, the John Havlicek Trophy for Sixth Man of the Year and the George Mikan Trophy for Most Improved Player.

"Our new collection of trophies celebrates some of the greatest and most impactful players in the history of the NBA," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. 

"As we recognise the league's top performers each season, we also pay tribute to the legends who embody these prestigious awards."

The announcement comes shortly after the league revealed a new trophy for the 2022-23 campaign to be awarded to the team that finishes with the best regular-season record.

The Maurice Podoloff Trophy – named after the NBA's first commissioner – will be handed out for the first time this season. The MVP trophy had previously been named after Podoloff up until last year when it was retained by Nikola Jokic.

The Los Angeles Lakers ended their winless start to the season to move to a 1-5 record with a 121-110 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

LeBron James scored a game-high 26 points with six rebounds and eight assists, while Anthony Davis excelled with 23 points and 15 rebounds, although he appeared to nurse a back injury late.

Russell Westbrook was solid again off the bench, adding 18 points on 50 per cent shooting with eight rebounds and eight assists. Westbrook scored four points in the final two minutes to see off any Nuggets' challenge.

The Lakers improved their three-point shooting, making 13-of-30 attempts at 43.3 per cent, while they also scored 48 points in the paint, taking advantage of the defensive limitations of the Nuggets' two-time MVP-winning center Nikola Jokic.

Jokic recorded a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds while Jamal Murray, who missed the 2021-22 campaign with a ruptured ACL, had his best scoring game of the season with 21 points.

The win ends the Lakers' five-game losing run to start the season. For Denver, the defeat means they are 1-3 on the road this season and 4-3 overall.

Warriors beaten by struggling Pistons

The Golden State Warriors had defensive issues again as they suffered back-to-back losses and fell to a 3-4 record after a 128-114 loss to the Detroit Pistons, who ended their own five-game losing run.

Last year's top NBA Draft selection Cade Cunningham was an assist short of a triple-double, contributing 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Pistons dominated after quarter-time.

Stephen Curry scored 32 points on 10-of-24 shooting, while Jordan Poole added 30 with Klay Thompson rested. The Warriors, who have given up 120-or-more points in five of their past six games, only made 12-of-39 three-point attempts (31 per cent).

Doncic matches rare Jordan feat

Luka Doncic became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1986 to score 30-or-more points in each of the first six games of the season as the Dallas Mavericks won 114-105 over the Orlando Magic.

The Slovenian point guard shot 17-of-26 from the field for 44 points with three rebounds and five assists. Doncic scored 30 of his 44 points in the first half.

Top 2022 NBA Draft pick Pablo Banchero failed to reach 20 points for the first time in his career, scoring 18 on six-of-20 shooting for the Magic.

Michael Jordan is still the best NBA player of all time despite LeBron James' achievements, says former small forward Kendall Gill.

Since being drafted first overall by the Miami Heat in 2003, James has won four NBA championships and four Finals MVP awards, while being selected in 18 All-Star teams.

James is also just 1,325 points behind all-time NBA scoring leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a record he could break this season - which gets under way with the Boston Celtics facing the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.

Gill says even if James breaks Abdul-Jabbar's scoring record, it does not make him the best player of all time above Jordan, telling Stats Perform: "You've got to be in the 'six five' club to be even mentioned in the conversation of the greatest of all time, and that's at least six championships and at least five MVPs.

"Only three players have ever done that; Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan. That's why LeBron can't be in that conversation right now.

"I think Michael Jordan is the greatest NBA player of all time. Numbers don't lie.

"This is the one that really tells me what people think deep down inside. I say, 'if you have one game to win for your life, who are you gonna pick, Michael Jordan and LeBron James?'

"The answer is always Michael Jordan."

James' Los Angeles Lakers face a tricky season opener on Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors, who are looking to retain the title they won in June by overcoming the Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Gill does not believe the Lakers have what it takes to win the franchise's 18th NBA championship, adding: "I love LeBron James but I don't think that the LA Lakers have the chemistry to win.

"You've got Russell Westbrook there, you've got Anthony Davis, you have LeBron James, you have Pat Bev [Beverley] there.

"Sometimes too much talent on a team is bad. It's not good, because everybody is trying to be the guy that they used to be on their previous team.

"I tell people this all the time. It's very hard to play with Lebron James. The reason why is because you have to completely change your game.

"LeBron is really the de facto point guard. Even though he's six foot nine, 270 pounds. He's going to handle the basketball most of the time.

"Everybody has to change the game because LeBron has the basketball most of the time. That's why Westbrook struggled last year because he wasn’t really allowed to play his position full-time."

Page 1 of 2
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.