The Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan are arguably the most dominant team and players in the history of the NBA. Six finals and six titles won is their score, something that is still unreachable and will be for a long, long time.
LeBron James and the Lakers take pride in being compared to Michael and the Bulls, even though many believe it is just media hype due to publicity and marketing. Still, there are certain parallels between these two guys, which are undeniable.
In this text, we will compare the Lakers' odds for winning the title with the Bulls' when Michael played. We hear a lot about the similarities between Chicago's second title-run and the Lakers' current situation, and even though we think that the circumstances are different, we'll examine both of them.
Back in 1992, the Bulls were already the champions, lifting the Larry O'Brien trophy for the first time ever. Their NBA Vegas odds for winning the championship were +250 before the start of the campaign. The Lakers are currently +325, and are second favorites behind the Brooklyn Nets and their superb trio, Harden, Durant, Irving.
The difference between those Bulls and nowadays Lakers is the fact that MJ started that season with 28 years, while Scottie Pippen had 26, and these two guys were the leading players. All other important players were, predominantly, under 30 years.
LeBron meanwhile has 36, Anthony Davis is 28, while Russell Westbrook has 32. Plus, all the rotation players are 31+, which isn't very good in today's basketball that demands a much higher intensity of play.
So, from this perspective, the Lakers' chances of winning the NBA title are far lower than the Bulls back in the days. Particularly because of all the Nets who are really looking terrifying.
Also, the Lakers will have one hell of a task to conquer the Western Conference, with the rivals like LA Clippers, who are, if healthy, very dangerous, the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets, etc.
The LAL are the first favorites to win the West at +180, Warriors come next, +450, then the Clippers +550, the Jazz +650, Suns +750, etc. Plus, all these teams, especially the Warriors, didn't complete their rosters and are awaiting the end of the offseason to make moves. The last we hear from the NBA insiders is that the Dub Nation wants Ben Simmons, who would be a perfect fit for the three-time champions in the previous seven years.
Now, about that age thing. It is important in this comparison because we saw LBJ struggling with injuries in the 2021 and 2019 campaigns. AD also had some problems, and when looking at the LAL roster and seeing all those 34, 35-year old players, we get the impression that "father time" might be the Lakers' biggest opponent here. On the other side, Michael was in the best years of his life in 1992/92.
So even though many want to relate these Lakers and their quest for the title with the Bulls' second championship journey, those two things are entirely different.
And to be honest, so are these two teams. After all, MJ is MJ with all due respect to LeBron.