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The Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James Debate Will Never End
FiveThirtyEight
 

The NFL draft draws nigh, and while the odds of being picked first are still ever in Joe Burrow’s favor, the Hot Takedown crew discusses where things might get interesting. Tua Tagovailoa could have perhaps challenged Burrow’s first picks status if not for a season-ending hip injury, but as it is, he might be the lynchpin for how the rest of Thursday’s first round shakes out. It all depends on whether the Lions decide to move on from Matthew Stafford (he’s not the problem in Detroit), the Chargers are willing to develop a rookie (probably not), or the Dolphins are desperate for a good QB (definitely yes). Whatever happens, we all agree that the Giants won’t be able to blame their draft woes on bad WiFi.

Next, we talk about the first two episodes of the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” and how it might affect Michael Jordan’s legacy. We start with the MJ vs. LeBron debate, though comparing eras still seems impossible. Jordan would probably add a solid 3-pointer to his arsenal today, and the carnage LeBron would wreak on ’90s defenses would have been considerable as well. What’s interesting is the narrative the documentary constructs of Bulls general manager Jerry Krause as the main villain behind Chicago’s “Last Dance” season. Since Krause is no longer alive to defend himself, there’s a lot we’ll probably never know.

Finally, Neil takes us on a journey of weird loopholes in basketball traveling rules. James Harden isn’t cheating — he may in fact be innovating, based on the way the current “gather step” lets players leap and then continue to move with the ball.

What we’re looking at this week:

Sarah Shachat is Hot Takedown’s producer.

Sara Ziegler is the sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

Geoff Foster is the former sports editor of FiveThirtyEight.

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