Now that LeBron James has won his second NBA championship with the Miami Heat, the entire offseason will be spent again comparing James to the league’s best player, Michael Jordan. One common flaw among many in the debate is predicting what has been accomplished in a full career versus a current one.
To make things a little interesting, the guy that predicted the 2012 presidential election perfectly weighs in on if “the chosen one” can reach Jordan’s magical number of six championships.
On Friday’s “FiveThirtyEight” column by Mike Silver, the analyst concludes that on average, a player like James has won almost two championships after the age of 28 (which is currently James’ age). Considering that number will have to double to tie Jordan’s total, the percentage is relatively low.
James needs four more championships to catch Jordan, so one estimate of his odds might be 4 chances out of 13, or about 30 percent. But some of the favorable precedents, like Russell, came in an era when teams had far more ability to retain their players.
Silver points out that only Jordan has won four or more titles in his formula in the salary cap era. Because of so many variables, he wouldn’t lay down a bet on King James “at even money.”
James’s chances of winning a third title next season in Miami are probably about 1 in 3. After that, his chances begin to decline. For one thing, it is less certain that James will be surrounded by strong teammates.
Considering the state of the Heat and an Eastern Conference that continues to improve, the odds are definitely not in favor for the man that took his talents to South Beach. But one-third of the journey is over to match the NBA’s best.