Scott Williams: The competitive part of MJ’s game was…

Scott Williams: The competitive part of MJ’s game was off the charts. I always considered myself a competitive person. I don’t think anybody that makes it to the professional level in any sport doesn’t have a degree of competitiveness and a feistiness in them. Nobody had that gear like Michael had that gear. It’s been talked about and written about. But during my rookie year, I played with MJ before he had a championship ring. I’ve never seen a guy so hellbent on every single thing that he did, from the moment that he woke up in the morning. I’m not even talking about when he was at the practice facility. I’m just talking about the whole aspect of his day and his night before he goes his eyes to go to sleep. All he could think about was getting an NBA championship. His intensity was off the charts. It was electric. You could sometimes feel the hair on your arms raise up with how intense things would get at moments in practice. I’m not talking about the games! I’m talking about practice! Our training camps were like playoff basketball. It was almost a sickness with this guy. I don’t think people can comprehend what it was like with MJ.

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WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR CONVERSATIONS LIKE WITH MJ? Larry Hughes: It was great. It’s not too many times you get to take a plane ride and go on trips and gamble with The Boss. That’s what it was. We were gambling with The Boss. We were doing shooting games at the practice arena from half court with The Boss. It was fun. We all competed. We all had a couple of dollars. We didn’t take it too far. You see him with the cigars. You see that stuff on video. I got to experience that. I can verify that that’s how that guy moves around. It was a fun experience for me.
Brendan Haywood: It was great playing with LeBron because he is one of the best teammates ever. He really wants to have everybody included. He wants to have guys on the same page. He wants to do things off the court to get guys engaged with each other, whether it’s taking guys out to the movies or having a room in the hotel where everybody could down and watch TV, eat, play video games. We knew we couldn’t go out in the city but we were still able to get out of the room. He is just thoughtful like that. He is always thinking about how he can help his teammates and he is the best gift-giver ever. We had all the Beats by Dre headphones. If he had a commercial for it, we had like ten of those. If he did Samsung phones, we all had them. If the new LeBron shoes came out, everybody would get them. He is an incredible, thoughtful teammate. It made guys want to run through a wall for him. It made his teammates work even harder. I think he learned a lot of that from the Heat. Dwyane Wade and Pat Riley taught him how to include everybody but he took it to the next level.
Brendan Haywood: The thing that they most have in common is that they impact winning. But they go about in totally different ways. That is why it’s so unfair that LeBron is always compared to Mike. He doesn’t play like Mike! He wasn’t trying to fully dominate like Mike! LeBron wants to play an overall floor game. Bron is more like Magic Johnson but with next-level athleticism. That allows him to do incredible things. LeBron wants to get the 8, 9, 10 assists. He wants to get the rebounds. He wants to get his 26, 27 points. He isn’t just worried about scoring, though. He’s not trying to destroy you. He’s not worried about how many buckets he gets.
Tom Westerholm: Lol @John Karalis prefaces a question to Thompson with “You’ve obviously played with one the greatest players ever.” “THE greatest player ever,” Thompson interjects.
Even after LeBron James claimed his fourth NBA Championship, not everyone is sold on his status as the NBA’s GOAT. In a chat on The Dab Roast podcast, 6x All-Star Shawn Kemp explained why he believes LeBron can never match Jordan on basketball’s hierarchy of greatness. “I’mma say Michael Jordan. I think LeBron James has done great, but only thing Michael Jordan ever did was win. There’s players as myself who haven’t won a championship that were very good. There’s guys who I’ve seen win championships, they’re good players, but they had a good team also around them,” Kemp said. “And I look at Michael Jordan, he played with the Bulls, and he had Scottie Pippen. But without Michael being there, the Bulls wasn’t gonna win the championship. It came from Michael Jordan.”
Dino Radja shared his takes on various topics stretching from the NBA to his 2018 induction in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame talking to the Croatian news website Index.hr. Plenty of strong opinions presented by the retired player, former member of the Boston Celtics. “When the comparisons between LeBron and Jordan start, I vomit,” he argued, “My son assures me that LeBron is better but for me, it’s not a discussion. If he had played twenty years ago, LeBron wouldn’t have been able to do even half of this. Today, when LeBron enters the paint, everyone moves away from him, but Jordan was getting beaten like no one and he still dominated. In front of LeBron were Kobe Bryant and some others. I respect LeBron but Kobe was better.”

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Falk claimed that Jordan would easily average 60 points on 75 percent shooting in today’s free-flowing (not to mention hand-checking) era. Perk, who was obviously not buying it, appeared on the latest episode of ESPN’s The Jump and went on a lengthy tirade. “That’s BS. You know, the bad part about it was that he was dead serious,” the one-time NBA champion said. “Look, David Falk might be sitting back sipping too much of that moonshine because to say that Michael Jordan would average 60 points on 75 percent shooting, that is absurd! I wouldn’t even do that when I be going to the LA fitness. I’ll be going getting buckets. “But to say so–to disrespect this generation like that–it’s just disturbing to me. And he’s out of like [saying] Jordan with an average 60 points and 75 percent shooting, that’s just crazy!”
Appearing on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show, I asked Isiah Thomas if a company offered a blank check to he and Jordan for the opportunity to discuss their differences in exchange for an hour-long uninterrupted television special for them to air out their grievances, how much would the check amount to? “Well I don’t need the check; that’s not what I’m about,” Thomas stated. “So you wouldn’t have to pay me anything. And honestly until ‘The Last Dance’, I never knew there was a beef. You know again, I had gone out to dinner with him, I had seen him socially… I never knew that he felt THAT way about me. So again, I have no hard feelings against anyone and when I talk about the greatest players, I’m only talking about it from my perspective. No slight to anyone but, it’s just an acknowledgement of how great LeBron James is and what I’ve been watching. It’s just like the acknowledgement of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Isiah Thomas: “Now in the White community, that might be different. Tom Brady doesn’t have to speak for and Joe Montana doesn’t have to speak for the White community and uplift them in America. In the Black community, it’s always been different; whether it be Joe Louis when he was fighting Max Schmeling and how important that fight was; Jesse Owens winning the gold medal in Germany and how important that was, Tommy Smith [and John Carlos]…so when you look at Muhammad Ali; Muhammad Ali wasn’t the greatest because he could knock people out – Muhammad Ali was the greatest because of what he did outside of the playing field; outside of the ring. So the champion has always carried that mantle; particularly in the NBA – Bill Russell carried it, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar carried it, Dr. J carried it, I carried it and now LeBron is doing it.
Isiah Thomas: So when you look at what the ‘GOAT’ means for us in terms of lifting us up in the society, speaking for the voiceless in our community; you can be a champion on the floor and you can be a champion off the floor. So what he’s done statistically – the numbers don’t lie. But also what he’s done OUTSIDE of the playing field, that doesn’t lie either. So you know, in terms of being a complete basketball player in terms of passing, dribbling, shooting, rebounding… no one has done what he’s done statistically in EVERY single category. Now we’ve had players to dominate one category. But we’ve never had a player that’s come in and dominate it in so many statistical categories across the board. And that’s LeBron James.”
David Falk: "If Michael Jordan played the game today... I think he'd average 60. I think he'd shoot 75% from the floor." ... "
David Falk: "The closest player to me to Michael was Kobe Bryant, in terms of his intensity, his athleticism, his burning desire to win."
SiriusXM NBA Radio: "I don't think the depth of talent today is nearly as deep as it was in Michael's era" Michael Jordan's Agent David Falk explains why you can't compare Michael Jordan to today's players.
Wade recently explained why it doesn’t matter who is the GOAT because we will never see another LeBron James or another Michael Jordan and we should really appreciate the things we witnessed with MJ and what we’re witnessing with Bron now. “When we talk about the GOAT conversations, it doesn’t matter who is the GOAT. He (James) is one-of-one, we will never see another him, we will never see another him, we will never see another Jordan, we will never see another Kareem. No one will ever win 11 championships like Bill Russell. Or I think. Maybe one day somebody will win 12. I just want to enjoy watching and I told LeBron this; this is the first time I’ve ever watched you as a real fan. This is the first time I’ve watched him as a total fan and I texted him, I said ‘bro, you’re f—ing good,” like he’s an animal; he’s one of the best basketball players that’s ever played the game because of the way he plays the game. You know not many players have ever played the game the way he does it and it’s just special to watch.”
Former Houston Rockets star Hakeem told CNBC that it’s always been Jordan for him, and apparently, his opinion won’t change when it comes to this debate on who is the most superior player he ever faced. “When people start comparing him with Jordan, then that’s not a fair comparison. Jordan was a far more superior player in a very tough league, and he was very creative. That’s not taking away anything from LeBron because he is a great player, but it is not a fair comparison because Jordan is a far superior player.” Hakeem Olajuwon, via CNBC
RW: Do you think the title with the Lakers puts LeBron over the top in the G.O.A.T. debate? Mike Penberthy: I don’t know if it’s possible to compare eras. As a player, the NBA calls the game differently from a referee standpoint and the gameplay is played differently in all the eras. What rules are you comparing these guys in? I think [Michael] Jordan was the greatest in his era. I think Magic [Johnson] and [Larry] Bird were the best in their era. I think Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], who doesn’t get any love, I’ve always thought Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the greatest basketball player to ever walk the earth because of what he did from the time he was 15 until the time he was 40.
In a recent interview with Shannon Sharpe, the 2x NBA Champion finally broke his silence on James and the GOAT debate, bringing a unique perspective to the table. “You can’t really quantify it. What LeBron has done is in its own category, what Kobe did, what Jordan, Kareem, Bill… People get very selective, ‘well he only did…’… these are feats that never will be… nobody will be 6-0 in the finals, it just ain’t gonna happen, that’s crazy. 10 finals and counting, I don’t think nobody’s gonna do that. They both have a bunch of MVP awards. They’ve got all the trophies, those guys, Kobe and… everybody’s talking about the GOAT, I’m just trying to get into the building. It will be scholarly debates over this for decades. I know LeBron wants it that way. Jordan was our hero, we all watched Jordan, we all know that ‘okay this is what I’m up against and it is what it is’, but for him to actually create a lane for his own self and then they say ‘he’s arguably the greatest of all time’, there’s nothing else to talk about.”
Who is the GOAT? LeBron or MJ? Collin Sexton: There are three of them, you can't really say one is the GOAT because of the different time eras. Gotta say Kobe, LeBron, MJ. Don't think there's just one person, don't know how LeBron would've played in MJ's era or Kobe in MJ's era. They're the GOATs in their eras.
Isiah Thomas: I as a elder in the basketball community recognize and credit the “evolution” of our #nba sport. I share my knowledge, experience and education with all @KingJames @kaj33 #Goat Status #on and #off the floor. Let it be known!
He sees some similarities between Magic and LeBron James, who won his fourth NBA Finals MVP Award last week with his third different team. Bertka, who still works for the Lakers as a special assistant and consultant at age 93, served as coach Pat Riley’s assistant during the era of Showtime. “Magic was a very unique athlete and basketball player,” Bertka said. “His intangibles were outstanding — his knowledge of the game and competitive spirit and leadership qualities, and what he was able to do as a 6-foot-9 and 215-pound point guard. But LeBron can also play point, or the two-guard, or the three, or four or even the five. He has great versatility as an athlete, but he also has those same intangibles as Magic. That was especially evident this season with the way his leadership and play and inspiration were key factors in our winning the championship. LeBron now may be considered the greatest to ever play the game. He’s getting some attention for that even over (Michael) Jordan.”
After James won his fourth ring in 10 tries, the age-old debate once again sprung up – is James the “greatest of all time” (or GOAT)? According to his former teammate Chris Bosh on Twitter, that debate holds absolutely no importance to LeBron James: “One person who also doesn’t want to talk about GOATs? Bron himself. He’s been a team-first guy since Akron—that’s what makes him great. Kobe, too: ‘Let’s just enjoy each other’s greatness,’ he said. I used to think people weren’t listening to those guys – the same players they were arguing over – but now I think they just don’t care. That’s why I can’t act like the question holds any weight the next time I hear it. If you’re looking to sell papers or get clicks, I promise there are better ways to do it.”
Marreese Speights: First of all, I didn't make the graphic with MJ and Kobe. I just shared it. I want to make that clear. Now, I'm a little bit older. I'm an ‘80s baby, so I kinda grew up watching Michael Jordan play. The reason I tweeted that is because it feels like the younger generation is disrespecting and forgetting the older players who paved the way, especially MJ. For me, being an NBA player and watching him as I was growing up, you can't do that, bro. That's disrespecting the game.
Marreese Speights: I'm not taking nothing away from LeBron. When LeBron is done playing, he will be one of the top-three or top-two greatest players of all-time. But you cannot disrespect these older guys like MJ and Kobe Bryant. Those guys really worked on their game, and their NBA Finals record shows that. Bron went to the Finals in nine of 10 seasons. Cool. But MJ went to the Finals and won the shit six outta six times! Kobe won five of seven times! You know what I mean? So let's keep that respect on MJ and Kobe's name. Don't try to bring them down to boost up LeBron. You can't do that. These younger guys need to stop disrespecting the older players.
Marreese Speights: To me, Jordan is the best player to ever play the game because the man just dominates. Early in his career, he didn’t win like he was supposed to. But that’s the case with just about everybody early in their career; look at Bron early in his career. Jordan won three championships and said, 'Forget it, I'mma go play baseball,' came back and won three more! Are you kidding me?! I feel like that's something a lot of young people don’t know -- or they didn’t know that until they watched “The Last Dance” recently. Do you know how hard that is?! He left the sport and then had another three-peat once he came back! Again, you just have to put respect on MJ’s name and Kobe’s name.
In a conversation with Bill Simmons and Ryen Russillo on the Bill Simmons Podcast, Lakers veteran Jared Dudley recalled the time he and LeBron watched “The Last Dance” together. Even with MJ’s greatness on display, not once did Bron ever admit the Bulls legend was better than him. “No. I never heard him say a comment like that. He was just so like ‘Michael’s a bad boy’. He loved the Rodman series…,” Dudley said.
NBA Central: Mo Speights sending shots at LeBron 😬 pic.twitter.com/KKve5NuZT8

http://twitter.com/TheNBACentral/status/1316204428865789953

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGSoY27Dj9C/?igshid=1c8dwjm7b6imz
Terrence Ross: Try to convince me.

http://twitter.com/TerrenceRoss/status/1315651049487818755
Meanwhile, Jordan was the best perimeter player of the ’90s. And the second-best was … John Stockton? Clyde Drexler? Grant Hill for that one year? Especially after Magic Johnson retired in 1991, nobody came anywhere close. Instead, Jordan’s era was one where Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and a young Shaquille O’Neal were the dominant forces. Malone and Barkley were the players who beat him out for MVP awards, while Olajuwon pushed Jordan down to third in 1993 and Robinson finished second, third and third at various points. No sane person considered another perimeter player ahead of Jordan on their MVP ballot from 1991 to 1998. In the two years Jordan (mostly) sat out, 193 of the 202 first-place MVP votes went to the bigs I listed above. Just nine went to perimeter players of any stripe. The six bigs I named above were the top six players in the 1995 MVP vote; only then did other perimeter players become a topic.
Meanwhile, the gap between Jordan and every other perimeter player in basketball was simply massive. I’m not going to slow your roll with a giant chart here, but the top 60 seasons in BPM from 1988-89 to 1997-98 include 37 by power forwards and centers. Eight of the others are by Jordan. Just 15 are from other perimeter players. In other words, Jordan was so good that he was the best player even though the league at that time was set up for bigs to be the best players. He was so good that he overcame the gravitational forces yanking on every other perimeter player. By contrast, in the peak 10 seasons of the LeBron Era – from 2008-19 to 2017-18 – every one of the top 19 seasons is by a perimeter player. (In addition to James’s five entries, we have Curry, Durant, Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Dwyane Wade campaigns.). Only six of the top 60 seasons were by a big … 90% of them came from perimeter players.
Metta World Peace sure has a way with words. His unbridled vocabulary was on full display recently when he declared Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James as the GOAT, while also comparing him to extra-terrestrials. World Peace took to Twitter to make his bold claim: @KingJames is the goat. Never thought I would say that over my brother 24 and my favorite mj. I was an Allstar in mj Jersey 23. I changed my number for one season to honor a legend. But the King is the greatest athlete to ever touch this galaxy. Better than the aliens too
“I admire his insatiable appetite to be on top and stay on top,” said Thomas. “I’ve never seen a player dominate so many statistical categories. We’ve had players dominate certain areas, but we’ve never seen a player that truly does it all. And he’s done it, without fail, for 17 years. For now, Kareem is the best that’s ever done it. But by the time he’s done, LeBron James will be the best we have ever seen play the game of basketball.”

http://twitter.com/hoopshype/status/1304329585849499648
Rony Seikaly: The GOAT debate is something that people have fun with, but when you’re comparing two great players of two different eras, it’s very difficult to make a call. We’re talking about two immensely talented players and we can go back and forth on who’s better, depending on whether you’re a fan of the 90s or of today. If you’re the latter, you probably don’t know what Michael Jordan did in the 90s and you would automatically think that LeBron James is the best player. If you grew up watching Kobe Bryant, you’d think that he’s the GOAT. The debate is endless, but the only reason I’d give the nod to Michael Jordan is because he had more of an assassin mentality. If he smelled a little bit of blood, he would come after you and you were finished. It’s always the same with Mike Tyson. He was like a shark. LeBron is an extremely talented player, just as talented as Michael, but sometimes he’s more of a Magic Johnson when he has the ball; more of a facilitator and less of a finisher, like Michael Jordan was.
But after two seasons as the head coach for Golden State, the Warriors signed a player who would go on to win back-to-back NBA Finals MVP awards and simultaneously put the finishing touches on the league's most dangerous team in history. In a conversation with The Ringer's Logan Murdock, Kerr explained why this player stands above all the rest. “I would say Kevin (Durant) is ... when you factor in everything, size, speed, athleticism, I think he’s the most talented basketball player I’ve ever seen in my life,” Kerr said. “It was more just a level of basketball that I’m not sure had ever been reached before.”
Allen Iverson: I’m not going to bullsh*t you. M.J. is always Number 1. I know you’d say the same. Black Jesus, that’s the G.O.A.T. But Number 2? Number 2, I’m always going to say it’s Kobe Bryant. Nobody was tougher than you. Nobody got more out of me. We’re linked forever in this game — in this life. I just wish we’d had more time.

http://twitter.com/TheNBACentral/status/1293626361412825090

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What was it like playing with LeBron? Larry Nance Jr: For me it was just, he is the ultimate leader. First in the gym, last to leave. Leading by example. He was all of that. You could try to beat him to the gym and you just couldn't. Just his leadership and the way he carries himself is really what makes me think he is the best player ever.
Who do you think is the greatest NBA player of all time? Larry Nance Jr: Oh gosh I hate this question. For me the greatest player is LeBron. The best I've seen with my two eyes.
NBA Central: Pat Bev says Kobe belongs in the GOAT convo: "No one likes to say it for some reason. Kobe taught people how to work hard. He gave you the blueprint of what you should do to be a successful basketball player. People tend to forget about it." (h/t @LakersDailyCom ) pic.twitter.com/oIErAuh2I0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkWDrD33xlw

http://twitter.com/ReggieMillerTNT/status/1279888067231244288
Golden State Warriors forward/center Draymond Green was asked about that power James has when Green appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” to discuss the “More Than A Vote” initiative. “I think LeBron yields a lot of power,” Green said. “As he should, I think arguably the greatest player of all time. If you look at his resume, it’s flawless.”
However, one executive said he already would put James ahead of Jordan. Another said winning it all this year would put James over the top. "LeBron is going to make sure those games [in Orlando] are played, because he knows they could have a huge impact on his legacy," an Eastern Conference executive said. "He knows picking up one or two more titles is the potential tipping point, and he's determined to go for it."
However, one executive said he already would put James ahead of Jordan. Another said winning it all this year would put James over the top. "LeBron is going to make sure those games [in Orlando] are played, because he knows they could have a huge impact on his legacy," an Eastern Conference executive said. "He knows picking up one or two more titles is the potential tipping point, and he's determined to go for it."
Former NBA player Drew Gooden compares LeBron James' championships to those of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Gooden also explains the main factor that contributed to Jordan's championships and how it sets him apart from LeBron James.
Jerry Reinsdorf: “In my mind, anytime anybody wants to talk to me about comparing Michael to LeBron (James), I’m going to tell them to please don’t waste my time. I’m really pleased it showed how great Michael was to people who hadn’t seen him play. I’m truly tired of people trying to compare LeBron to Michael when it’s not even close. They should try to compare LeBron with Oscar Robertson or Magic Johnson. Michael was so head and shoulders over everybody, and that really came out in this documentary. He was a phenomenon. We may never see another like him.”
Instead, Maxwell has put his name behind Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James in the GOAT debate. In an interview on NBC Sports Boston’s “Arbella’s Early Edition,” the former Finals MVP explained what exactly puts James above Jordan in his mind. “LeBron James is the GOAT now,” NBA legend said. “He’s the GOAT because, not only on the basketball side, but social issues: He’s been involved in every social issue that we look at.” James has been very active and vocal in humanitarian efforts, as well as social issues such as the recent protests over police brutality and racial injustice. “When somebody says, ‘Shut up and dribble’ — LeBron James has put his money where his mouth is, and that to me resonates. That’s why I think more of our players and more NBA people need to step up and find that same courage,” Maxwell added.
KingFut Q: After ‘The Last Dance’ documentary, people are having a lot of debates on who is the real GOAT. What are your thoughts on the documentary and maybe you can tell us about your NBA all-time best 5? Abdel Nader: You will be surprised, but I didn’t watch the documentary. For me in my era I got to see Kobe Bryant in my eyes as the best.
What did you think of Paul Pierce not having LeBron James in his all-time Top 5? Kendrick Perkins: I mean, I can't knock P for who he had, but I don't know... I think it's something else there. Like, there's no way that you can not have LeBron in your Top 5. Now, if you don't have him as your GOAT, I'm okay with it. But to say that he's not in your Top 5? Come on, P. I love you to death, my brother, but you're a little delusional.
Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show on Monday, JR Smith explained in detail what separates LeBron from all-time greats like Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant. “He holds you accountable. One thing about Bron is he leads by example with his work ethic. His biggest attribute is being able to pull people along with his work ethic,” the 6-foot-6 shooter said. “Obviously, it’s easier for the better players to do it. But for my existence, Jordan didn’t do it. Kobe didn’t do it. A lot of players that had that “killer mentality” aren’t that type of person to do it,” he added.
“Jordan and Kobe, they did play defense but they’re scorers. They put up 50, 60, 70 points a night. When you get somebody so well-rounded, rebounding, scoring, passing, dribbling, a good teammate. It’s a totally different atmosphere. He’s a totally different person than those guys. There’s no comparison. Because you can’t compare a lion and a tiger. They’re both cats but they are not the same.” In true fashion, JR Smith finished his analogy with this hilarious quote. “The lion is the king of the jungle. Everybody bows down to the lion. But that don’t stop the tiger from saying ‘I’m a bad m----------- too’”.
In your opinion, who’s the GOAT? Larry Hughes: MJ is the GOAT, in my opinion. That’s really a no-brainer for me. Really, the inspiration behind wanting to push forward came from me watching MJ and how he worked and all of his videos and really instilling his work ethic in myself and trying to do the Breakfast Club. He paved the way so, for me, it’s an easy answer. LeBron, he’s not far behind. But, for me, it’s always been MJ.
Not many people can say they played with Michael Jordan and LeBron James. What were the biggest similarities between the two? Larry Hughes: I think the natural ability, the attention to detail, the respect that they ; they were not going to waste their God-given talent. That stands out to me the most… They had a deeper understanding that they weren’t going to let their talent be wasted. And they were going to inspire other people. I mean, even though I played with Bron when he was younger, we still had young guys who were coming to the team that looked up to Bron. It was a situation where he took advantage of that, and I think MJ took advantage of that as well, knowing that he would impact and inspire a lot of kids through a lot of different generations.
More than 20 years after Drexler and MJ last laced it up against each other, Drexler has his own opinion on the GOAT debate. Clyde the Glide believes neither Jordan nor LeBron James should be the only two automatically pegged as the NBA's greatest player of all time: “I have a real problem with that, because out of all the guys that played the game, for you to have a conversation of these two guys as the GOAT when you've got Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two of the greatest players to ever live - I think you start with those two.”
Drexler also offered up suggestions on a handful of other NBA greats. "And then you've got guys like Dr. J [Julius Erving], Larry Bird, George Gervin, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West. All those guys are in the conversation, and so for people to bring this up today, to me it's just unbelievable. And I love Michael and LeBron. But still, let's not take something away from those other guys who played."
Despite his unwillingness to engage in the debate, Anthony did concede that he agrees with the consensus that Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time but also said that shouldn't take anything away from what LeBron has accomplished. "You know, M.J. is the GOAT. He's the greatest ever. We all know that and we all agree to that. Why can't we say that, but also give LeBron his flowers while he's here too?" Anthony said. "Why can't we say, 'M.J. was very great, LeBron is very great, Kobe is very great.' We're not allowed to say those things today, because it's always this or that, and that's just our society -- you have to choose one."
Carmelo Anthony thinks that type of "barbershop talk" is great for the fans, but he doesn't much care for player comparisons -- particularly between Jordan and James, two of the best to ever play. "I don't like it. And I say that because whenever we do that, we fail to appreciate what we have in front of us," Anthony told CBS Sports. "Any time these comparisons are made, whether it's anybody -- old school versus new school -- it's like, why can't we just appreciate everybody for what they bring to the game?"
"You know, M.J. is the GOAT. He's the greatest ever. We all know that and we all agree to that. Why can't we say that, but also give LeBron his flowers while he's here too?" Anthony said. "Why can't we say, 'M.J. was very great, LeBron is very great, Kobe is very great.' We're not allowed to say those things today, because it's always this or that, and that's just our society -- you have to choose one."
While Jordan seems to keep those slights with him and is intent to prove doubters wrong, Anthony takes a different approach. "It hit home, but then you also understand that at the end of the day, there's nothing you can do if somebody wants to put a negative narrative out there about you," Anthony said. "There's really nothing you can do, so what I've learned over the years is, whatever's gonna happen is gonna happen. Whatever people are gonna say, people are gonna say. Just don't give them anything to talk about. You're doing your job and working hard. If you know you're putting your all into it, anything somebody else says doesn't even matter to you."
“When I was talking the GOAT for me means highschool, college, pro dominance, longevity, all of that. Kareem I don’t think lost in highschool. I think he was 85 and 2 in college, won a championship every year, was the best player every single year. They changed the rules for him. That’s why he got the sky hook. He comes to the league, obviously dominates, has the most points of all time, and things like top 5 or top 10 rebounding. He has 5 rings. His career speaks for itself. Played 20 years. “But it’s that 30-year span of just complete and utter basketball dominance in how define it is taking the big picture view. I don’t argue MJ’s pinnacle of dominance. I definitely don’t argue that. I want no smoke MJ fans. Everybody got mad, I was like ‘let me just explain myself’.”
However, one former player who had his fair share of success during his career, believes that the conversation being limited to only LeBron and Jordan is a mistake. Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was a household name during his storied career with the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets, and he thinks other players deserve to be in the “GOAT” conversation. “I really have a problem with that. Because out of all the guys that played the game, you’re only having a conversation with these two guys as the GOAT,” Drexler said in an interview on The A-Team, a Houston-area sports podcast. “When you got Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two of the greatest players who ever lived, I think you should start with those two. You got guys like Larry Bird, Dr. J, George Gervin, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West all of those guys are in the conversation. I love both Michael and LeBron but let’s not take something away from the other guys who played.”
However, one former player who had his fair share of success during his career, believes that the conversation being limited to only LeBron and Jordan is a mistake. Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was a household name during his storied career with the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets, and he thinks other players deserve to be in the “GOAT” conversation. “I really have a problem with that. Because out of all the guys that played the game, you’re only having a conversation with these two guys as the GOAT,” Drexler said in an interview on The A-Team, a Houston-area sports podcast. “When you got Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two of the greatest players who ever lived, I think you should start with those two. You got guys like Larry Bird, Dr. J, George Gervin, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West all of those guys are in the conversation. I love both Michael and LeBron but let’s not take something away from the other guys who played.”
Nikos Varlas: Tomas @Tomas Satoransky's all-time #NBA five: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley With respect toward all the players but these impacted his generation the most.
During a recent appearance on ESPN, Johnson had some high praise for James, as he said that the Lakers forward was probably the best "all-around" player of all time. However, Johnson said that when it comes to the greatest player ever, he's still going with Jordan. "First of all, let's not take anything away from LeBron James," Johnson said. "Because LeBron James is a great basketball player, one of the all-time greatest that's ever played the game. LeBron James to me, when you think about all-around basketball players, he's probably the best of all time. An all-around basketball player. But when you want to say 'who's the greatest ever' it's still Michael Jordan."
While Johnson currently has Jordan ranked ahead of James on his own all-time list, he did leave the door open for James to potentially pass Jordan down the road, as James is still in the midst of his playing days. "LeBron James' chapter is not closed yet," Johnson added. "He still has some basketball to play, so maybe he has a chance to catch [Jordan] later on if he can get some more championships under his belt. But at the end of the day, they're both great and they play they game the right way. They made their teammates better, they won championships, and thank god for LeBron because right now that's what we're watching. It's his time. It's his era, and he's dominating his era."
Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem joins Now or Never to discuss the possibility of the NBA returning in July and shares his thoughts on The Last Dance, declaring "MJ is the greatest."
Celtics legend Paul Pierce recently made waves when he left LeBron James out of his list of the Top 5 greatest players in NBA history. The retired 19-year NBA veteran listed Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant ahead of James.
Just two years ago, in a round-table interview with Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, Pierce said that James is “already in the top five” when discussing all-time players. And when asked about James being the only player in NBA history with 30,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists, Pierce said, “[When] you talk about once-in-a-generation players, he’s definitely there.”
Storyline: GOAT Debate
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Thunder offered Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, No. 6 pick to Pistons for No. 1 pick?

Cade Cunningham has been the public favorite to go No. 1 to the Detroit Pistons since the lottery. While Detroit is surely doing its due diligence, is there any reason to doubt that Cunningham will be the first name we hear on Thursday night? Matt Babcock: I expect Cade Cunningham to be the top overall pick in this draft, selected by the Detroit Pistons. However, I’ve been told that the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have been knocking the Pistons’ door down. Rumor has it that the Thunder offered the No. 6 pick and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in exchange for No. 1 — the Pistons declined. If the Pistons receive an offer better than that one, they may need to seriously consider it.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 547 more rumors
However, two other names also are swirling around. Moses Moody has been someone league sources have said the Grizzlies are very interested in. He’s one of the most intriguing 3-and-D guys in the draft. In his one year at Arkansas, he made 35.8 percent of his 3-pointers, and nearly 50 percent of his shots came from beyond the arc. Nobody is blown away by 35.8 percent, but scouts/executives believe in his shot and are encouraged by the 81.2 percent he shot from the free throw line. Free-throw percentage is often an indicator of someone discovering long-distance accuracy.