May 28, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James answers questions during a press conference following game five against the Indiana Pacers of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Miami 93-90. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Horace Grant: Michael Jordan's Bulls top LeBron James' Heat

The debate over who was the better player between Michael Jordan and LeBron James is already a hotly contested debate among NBA fans, with young fans being a prisoner of the moment while smart fans know full well that Jordan is the best to ever play the game.

However, the question over whether Jordan’s teams with the Chicago Bulls that won two separate three-peats in the 90s makes for a good conversation with the Miami Heat teams over the last four years after advancing the the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year. Not since the Boston Celtics in the mid-80s have we seen a team in the Finals four consecutive years.

Jordan’s teams never accomplished that feat, although the Eastern Conference was much deeper and stronger at the top than it has been in the new millennium. I think we can all agree that the Western Conference has been the dominant conference for the better part of the last 15 years.

Horace Grant, one of Jordan’s former teammates on the Bulls, believes those Bulls teams were much better than the Heat teams we’ve witnessed the last four seasons.

“The Heat wouldn’t have had a chance,” Grant said Tuesday on WSCR-AM in Chicago via “We would have locked them up. We would have locked them up. Especially with the rules today, Michael would have had a field day.”

The primary rule Grant refers to is the hand-checking rule that limits what a defender can do opposed to his era that had players banging, clutching and grabbing one another in an era that featured much more defense being played.

The Heat have failed on the biggest stage, losing to the Dallas Mavericks three seasons ago, the second Finals loss for James, and that’s one huge reason why those who want to say James and the Heat are better than Jordan and the Bulls falls flat.

Jordan is a perfect 6-0 in the Finals with six Finals MVP trophies.

Who do you think would win in a mythical best-of-seven game series: The Jordan Bulls or the LeBron Heat?

Sound off in the comments section below.

I have the Bulls winning in six games with Scottie Pippen slowing James down just enough and Jordan averaging more than 32 points per game.

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Tags: Chicago Bulls Lebron James Miami Heat Michael Jordan

  • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

    The “no defense any more” argument drives me up the wall. The game is different, not worse.

    Nobody brings up that the Bulls were allowed to hand check their opponents. What kind of defensive monster would LeBron be if he got to man handle his opponents?

    How would the Bulls deal with modern defenses that weren’t allowed in the 90s?

    I doubt today’s Heat would beat the Bulls of the 90s, but it has nothing to do with defensive rules. Anyone that tells you differently is just trying to justify a broken argument.

  • Leroy Boyd

    Any form of defense used it does not matter Bulls still win. If its uder the 90 years rules the Bulls beat them up and wbo id Bron going to manhandle? Do you actually think he can be more physical tha the bad boys knicks or eve the Pacers.
    Even playing under the modern day rules the Bulls had enough speed to cover everybody on tbe heat. The second 3 peat Bulls were even stronger can you imagine Bron being guarded by MJ Pippen Harper and Rodman at different times who is Wade going to guard?

    Take this line up of the second 3peat MJ Pippen Harper Rodman and Kukoc please tell me who on tbis Heat guards who? Plus who do the Heat have that can guard Longley?

    The first 3 peat had 3 of the best 3 point shooters in the NBA BJ paxton and Hodges.

    I have to wonder if they can win one game let alone 2

  • mike brocaglia

    Players today have to punch lebron in the throat to stop him defensively, do you really think the 6″6′ Shooting Guard that is MJ could handle him using modern D? Ha, you me laugh if you think that would work, now dennis couldbut he’d be fould out in 6 LBJ drives, and so could pip but still he’d end up in foul trouble, plus you’ve got the attention he draws leaving, ray, chris, battier, lewis, cole, and chalmers open in the corner, also you have D-Wades moves such as the floater, pump fake and lean, and rev slam, also is haslems ability to run the P&R with wade, remeber, LJ is 6’8″ and 250+ pounds, and coach spo is a evil genius. It’d be a close game but MIA would cone out on top.

    • Leroy Boyd

      Mj would not guard Bron that would be Pippen and I am sure Phil would adjust hid defense to even take Bron out I see with your suggestion that they would come out on top you never saw the MJ Bulls

      • mike brocaglia

        You are obviously a heat hater, and I am a heat fan, but I also like the ‘gokden age’ bulls, I will not deny that Jordan is the best player ever, but Miami is better, sorry. It would take the bulls the entire series to adapt to modern rules, in the meantime miami wpuld be far away, also they have Ray Allen, best 3 shooter in history, he has saved the heat time and again, c’mon, present over past you gotta admit it.

        • Leroy Boyd

          Yea I am a Bulls fan but hate the heat NO why hate them it makes no sense on my part to hate any team that is what b andwagon fans do. But when it comes to Bulls vs Heat yea different story.

          Their is no way the heat beat the Bulls no matter what defense is used. As for Rsy allen msn please the Bulls had 3 playets who could knovk down 3′s like Ray. BJ Paxton and Hodges. You talk about Ray pleasr with .MJ or Pippen on him he dont get those shots and if we are talking the Bulls 2nd 3 peat we are talking MJ Pippen Rodman and Rodman all 4 can cover Bron Wade Bosh and Ray.

          Now who covers MJ Pippen Longley and Kukoc to big to fast and to damn good. Talk about 3′sSteve Kerr knocked them down just luke Ray did in post play

          • mike brocaglia

            Miami and the bull are very food teams and quute well matched, but its pointless to argue about it cause its never happening! We have guys to match bulls 3′s LBJ UD rashard shane (greg oden if he is still a diference maker) can all get up and bump some bodies, if greg is healthy he could handle MJ on the inside, and UD can run the PR for dwade , LJ and co. And UD could cause some trouble for their bigs like the way he did roy Hibbert! As you very well know I am a stubborn heat fan that you WILL NOT change my mind and you are a stubborn bull fan, as I said its pointless to argue, and if you want to argue go find a spurs fan or a pacers fan and argue with him. Bye

          • Leroy Boyd

            Lets get something real clear as for this series I dont cate who wins. Furthermore I have wonder if you know any basketball at all to even mention Oden in tbe same sentence with MJ in any form. I doubt that either would be anywhere near guarding MJ accept when they got the ball out of tbe hoop.

            In fact do you know big the Bulls were? Oden would have trouble guarding Cartwright Williams King and Levingston.

            I think you need to do some research on tbe Bulls to even suggest a center or PF could guard MJ if Ewing Olaujon Robinson Mahorn Parish Mutombo tree rollins and Shaq never stopped MJ from anything how do you figure two bums you name could?

            You are living in a time where what have you done for me lately. But from the Heat team you have one player that could have started on the Bulls team and that’s Bron. Whereas Wade Bosh and Allen would be coming off the bench.

          • mike brocaglia

            Oh please, I know my basketball and oden was a hypothetical he would help block with body help from a forward if he was healthy and had been gaining experience over the years, d wade is the best shooting guard (behind MJ) in history, he would so make the starting lineup (in the point guard position) (by the way I take much offence to you calling my boy UD a bum) MJ is a force to be reckoned with, but so is the superstar duo of dwyane wade and lebron james, heck lebron is a force all by himself, he could beat MJ one on one anyday, and you forget how cb stretches out the bulls d meanwhile miamis is already stretched out, and quite trappy (if thats even a word trappy) plus you’ve got 6 3 point BOMBERS 3 of which are PF’S that again strech the d, and ray, bosh, LJ, Dwade, and Battier are all extremely clutch and are vets that know how to win championships, plus they have extreme amounts of chemistry and a family atmosphere. While I will say thay the bulls were the best team of THEIR generation, the heat are theirs. But I think that there is an underlying problem here, I don’t hate the bulls, in fact d rose is one of my favorite players and I don’t hate the 90s bulls as I said I love MJ and pip is good in my book, dennis is a different story, also phil gets alot of respect from me, but I think you have an issue that you hate the entire heat organization, which you have no reason to except we are good and the bulls (current bulls) aren’t, people always have issues with the winning team. Now that I have made my case I withdraw from this conversation, as it is pointless, however, if you want to start making fun of Indiana, id be more than happy to do so, now there is a team I have a problem with. The heat will three peat and there is nothing anyone can do to stop them. Have fun living in the past, the bulls passed the Baton, it is now the heats turn. Good bye.

          • Leroy Boyd

            Man please forget Oden he Is nothing but what he is now a guy who could have been. You think Wade is the second best shooting guard in history man please do you know anything about Jerry West? I sm from Chicago and I knew about Wade before you heard anything about him but I also know and saw Jerry West play and Wade ain’t no Jerry West.

            Yes I called Haslem a bum compared as a power forward man please when you have had Horace Grant and Dennis Rodman on your team a bum compare to them.

            Lol you tbink Bron can beat MJ one on one I have to ask you 2 questions one how old are you and two did you see MJ play Bron could no more beat MJ than some nitwit thinking they can swim from Miami to Cuba buck naked and not get wet.

            I see right now you have little knowledge about who the Bulls had on their teams besides MJ. If they could have played Pippen guards Bron and MJ guards Wade. As for 3pt shooters Allen is all you should be talking about Shane could not step on the floor with BJ Paxton Hodges or Kerr so I think Heat fan you should research about those Bulls then come back with a better statement because again you dont know what you are talikng about.

            Let me leave you with this again Bron is the only Heat player that would start on the Bulls team Wade and Bosh would be coming off the bench. I dont know how many minutes Bosh would get with Toni Kukoc on the team. As for hating the heat man please why would I hate the heat I dont give one good penny about the heat unless they are playing the Bulls, furthermore talk about the pacers why? Until they win something who gives a sh*t about them? Remember this yea we have a past but you will to at one point will it be 2 3peats without a loss oh you already lost 1. In fact MJ 6-0 in finals your boy Bron 2-2.

          • mike brocaglia

            Listen, I am sorry I upset you, I don’t know who would win cause nobody from the 90s bulls are still around, I mentioned the pacers to diffuse the situation, I see you are an NBA fan who has been around the game alot longer than I have, (by the way I hate indiana because of how annoying they are) the game was different back then and besides, yoh really cant compare the heat and bulls or lj and mj because they are different. I give much respect to the bulls, they were such a dominant team for so long and deserve everything they won, thank you for giving me a very nice NBA debate, and you clearly know more history than I do, I hope you have an excellent evening and I hope the bulls can make history onve again, but for now, its the Kings time to reign.

          • Leroy Boyd

            Upset me over a sports question please man how you determine that I dont know. Getting upset over a debate about sports is what nitwits do. I just state my point and if anyone think I am upset is one them. I rather discuss a point with a person who has some idea about what they believe and take it as far as their knowledge can explain.

            As for the pacers any team that whines and harps about having home court to win are nothing but bitc*es. Great teams win anywhere. The Pacers should have just played and kept their mouths shut. Furthermore they would not even have been in the finals if Rose does not get hurt and Deng would not have been traded it would have been Bulls vs Heat and Pacers would have been home in the second round. But the Pacers are front runners until they win their first title they are nothing.

            You said its the kings time to reign you mean Sac that is the only team name kings

          • mike brocaglia

            One more thing, if yoh happen to remeber the bulls are out of the playoffs and Miami is at the finals right now. So they (MIA) are winning when it counts, in real life! Not in our or some writers mind. But I think we can all be unified in saying “I hate Lance Stephenson!”

  • Real M-Fing talk !!!

    It would all be determined first by Lebron then if his cast, will they show up?, i know guys like Chalmers won’t, but a healthy Wade will along with Birdman, those are the three players i can count on to show up every night ! guys like Bosh, Allen, Coles will put together strings of average to bad basketball… But i will give Miami the edge because Lebron would be the best “all around player on the floor”

    if Jordan could have guarded David West then guard a Derrick Rose, i would have given the edge to Jordan, the same Jordan, Joe Dumars was famous for holding in check at times, the same Jordan that could not guard Iverson… i have yet to see a player who kept Lebron in check and no refs don’t count !… offensively Lebron is a more efficient scorer than Michael ever was… Jordan needs a lot of shots to be an effective player !,…

    the year Jordan averaged 37 points per game, he took 28 shots per game
    the highest shot total Lebron ever had was 23 shots per game and avg. 31 points
    the only two years Jordan avg. 18 shots a game… you guessed it he scored 22 points and 20 points a game those years.
    this year Lebron took 17.6 shots a game and score 27 points a game…

    So this great divide Between Jordan and Lebron is not there !, if anything i give Lebron the edge…. that’s why i believe the Heat could beat the Bulls, back then teams were scoring 140 points in regulation that would never happen today… even without hand check, defenses are a lot more complex than in Jordan’s day

    here is a head to head of Lebron and Jordan numbers, keep in mind Jordan has played 4 more years at this point and Lebron is still in his prime, numbers don’t lie !

    http://www.landofbasketball {d-o-t} {c-om}

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  • mike brocaglia

    I dont wanna get in an argument here cause it aint gonna get us anywhere, you like the bulls, I like the heat, they are both excellent teams and deservedthe cchampionships they won, miami is joining the three peat ranks not pushing MJ out, miami is going to win, just leave it at that, they will destroy their REAL finals mat ch ups, why ate we fighting over something thatt will never happen?

  • Joe Bloh

    The 90′s Bulls would have won 8-in-a-ROW had Jordan not RETIRED and gone off
    to play BASEBALL (!!!) :/

    He was GONE for a WHOLE YEAR.

    And when he came back, it took him a whole season to get BACK on track.

    So basically, the Bulls took 2 years Off.

    If not for THAT.. it would have been 8.

    Anyone that remembers the Bulls, knows I’m right. 100%.