There are plenty of stats in Jordan's favor. And some for James.
I think beyond the stats is where people see a difference. Some will see that as made-up mythology.
Maybe to a point? I just see a clear, and yet hard to describe discernable difference.
But simpler than that... James better on the boards, better playmaker for others. Jordan better pure scorer, and defensive player.
James getting deserved credit for a longer career, sustained excellence. But of course Jordan's numbers would be that much better without the retirements.
Overall, comparisons are inevitable when you are talking about the best of the best. It's just part of sports.
But the difficulty in comparing eras is real.
PS: Namath? He's pretty far down the list of all-time QBs.
Jordan and James are pretty equal defensively imo.
As for the retirement line, I really don't get why anyone would use that in favor of Jordan. Those were his decisions and if anything, the first retirement was helpful in recharging his battery for the next run. This isn't Ted Williams fighting in the war here. He gets credit for the time he played, which was relatively short, and that's it.
He can win on peak, but doesn't really come close to LeBron at this point in total career value. So again, it depends on what you want to value.