NBA Rumor: GOAT Debate
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Get Up: Who is the GOAT: MJ or LeBron? @WindhorstESPN makes a case for each
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Jorge Sierra: 🐐 GOAT vs. GOAT 🐐 We pit LeBron James against Michael Jordan at pretty much everything. pic.twitter.com/Cj0ICLsFfE
Tyus Jones: 🐐 Congrats! @LeBron James
Tyrese Haliburton: s/o Bron, the word generational can’t even explain it man
Larry Nance Jr., Pelicans forward: “He’s been the greatest of all time for me for a while now. Obviously I’m from Akron, Ohio, so I’m a little bit biased. The expectations on him coming in and him surpassing those on the court as well as off the court … the caliber of role model he is for anyone and everyone is to be admired.”
Jason Kidd, Mavericks coach: “He’ll go down as the greatest to ever play the game. To play against him, to play with him, to coach him, he’s delivered each decade. Despite all the hype around him, he never stopped working. He probably overdelivered.”
Danny Green, Grizzlies wing (won title with LeBron in 2020): “Definitely one of the best players to ever lace them up, but I also consider him a friend, a brother, family, a guy that I won a championship with, a guy that I battled for championships against. There are so many things that go into that … relationship with him. When it’s all said and done, he’s going to be arguably the greatest player to ever lace them up. “I consider myself very lucky and blessed to compete with guys like him. … To be able to play during the generation of his time is special.”
Nick Wright: The other guys to get to 30K+ points were shells of themselves at the end. Wilt was 13ppg, Dirk 7ppg. MJ was 20ppg for the Wizards. Kobe was 18ppg on 36%. Malone was 13ppg when he cracked 35K. Kareem was 10ppg when he got 38K. LeBron is averaging 30ppg for the 2nd straight yr.
Ja Morant: Greatest of All Time 👑 💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐
Paul Pierce: Honor to say I had a chance to match up with The GaoT I’ve alway never acknowledged u as King but u Truly the King #lRespect no player in NBA History had the pressure coming in the league to exceed expectations not only have u live up to it but u have surpassed it #allhailtheKing
Jaylen Brown: The greatest !! congrats to @LeBron James
Kevin Love: True Greatness. Incredibly grateful to have witnessed and been a part of your journey. History made. 38,388 🐐
Larry Nance Jr: First name ever, last name greatest.. 👑 🐐 330’s very own – Congratulations @LeBron James
Kevin Huerter: Greatest to ever do it @LeBron James 💐
Josh Richardson: Wow. Real life GOAT in front of us
Quentin Grimes: 👑🐐💐
Kendrick Perkins: I don’t wanna hear shit! I’m not debating a damn thing when it comes to the GOAT. Old heads, haters, trolls… sit this one out! I always believed but now it’s concrete and nothing left to discuss… Carry. The. Hell. ON! Congratulations my brother @LeBron James
Julius Erving on GOAT debate: 'My all-time greatest player is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson: DR. J on GOAT debate: “I think it’s the fans argument, not the players argument. So I stay away from it. My all time greatest player is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.”
Jalen Rose on GOAT debate: Michael Jordan has 10 scoring titles, LeBron James has one
Jalen Rose: When you talk about the best players of all time, you ultimately start talking about who’s the G.O.A.T. And when you talk about G.O.A.T., the first word is ‘greatest.’ That means achieved more than somebody else. And if we’re comparing Michael Jordan and LeBron, for example, Michael Jordan got 10 scoring titles. LeBron James has one. Michael Jordan has been Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA. LeBron hasn’t.
According to NBA on TNT, Barkley makes a solid point about discussing the “GOAT” of basketball. He cleverly mentions how players should be viewed more so in their generation rather than comparing everybody in the same category. It’s a great point. Even so, the legendary power forward names seven players for his Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore is commonly known to name someone’s top four players. However, Barkley names Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. The best part of this video is nobody in the room catches it. Regardless, that is a solid list of players to idolize for the NBA, as each of them brought something unique to the table in their respective generations.
NBA on TNT: “These are the most important figures as far as basketball in my opinion.” Chuck shares his “Mount Rushmore” of NBA history.
Drew Hill: Ja Morant said he was watching “The Last Dance” last night and wants to channel the MJ energy. “That’s the goat. If you don’t like Michael Jordan, you don’t like basketball.”
Tracy McGrady on who's the best one-on-one player: 'Kobe Bryant is definitely at the top of that list'
Who’s the best one-on-one player in your opinion? Tracy McGrady: Kobe (Bryant) is definitely at the top of that list. I could go with a handful of guys that are great one-on-one players. Baron Davis. Cuttino Mobley. Lou Williams. Jamal Crawford. These are one-on-one certified killers. Allen Iverson. That’s what these guys do. But definitely, Kobe is at the top of that list.
“He’s the greatest player of all time and so to be fortunate, to be a part of that is something that I take a great deal of pride in and obviously you want to see him have those seasons play out ultimately culminating in another championship or more championships,” Vogel said.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on LeBron James breaking scoring record: He deserves it
Harrison Faigen: “I think its about time. I’m not gonna get jealous of LeBron, he deserves it,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to @Malika Andrews on the ESPN broadcast, when asked about LeBron eventually passing his all-time regular season scoring record.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on LeBron James: Some of the things he's done he should be embarrassed by
Ben Golliver: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he’d be willing to meet Lakers’ LeBron James to discuss their differences on issues like vaccine advocacy: “I admire the things he’s done… Sending a whole school to college, wow, that’s amazing… Some of the things he’s done he should be embarrassed by.” pic.twitter.com/0QlNMNUXit
Jason Kidd: LeBron James will go down as the GOAT
Jason Williams: Michael Jordan would be an All-Star in today's NBA but not the Michael Jordan he was back then
Jason Williams: “Obviously, he’s going to be great,” Williams said. “I mean, don’t get me wrong. But I think it would be a little harder for him now because like you said the defenses have changed, and now he’s going to have three guys on the same side of the floor when he has the ball on the wing, whereas back in the day you just had one guy.
Draymond Green would miss Warriors game to witness LeBron James break scoring record live
Draymond Green: “Congrats to LeBron James, second all-time. Probably in fifty more games or so, fifty to seventy games or so, he’ll be first all-time. And I can’t wait to see that and I hope, Steve Kerr, I’m throwing this out there right now. If LeBron is passing the all-time scoring record and we have a game, I’m going to LeBron’s game and witness history. So that’s what we doing, coach Kerr.”
LeBron James recently became the No. 2 overall scoring leader in league history. He could become the NBA’s all-time scoring champion as soon as next season. As such, during the latest episode of The Draymond Green Show, Green had a lot to say about James. Around the 15-minute mark, Green shared some noteworthy comments.
Jason Williams' latest take on Kobe Bryant in Lakers history: 'I said what I said, and I mean what I meant'
Initially, Williams said he was unsure of whether or not Bryant stands among the “top five of the all-time greatest Lakers.” That take ruffled some feathers, but after his quote started getting some attention around the basketball world, he clarified what he meant. Williams explained that Bryant is indeed the “greatest Laker ever.” He added that he merely believes that there are a handful of better players who have played for the Lakers at some point in their careers, making the argument a little bit muddy. Williams recently spoke about the topic again and offered his latest thoughts. “I said what I said, and I mean what I meant,” Williams said.
“Kobe Bryant is the greatest Laker of all time, but that doesn’t mean that he’s the greatest basketball player that ever played for the Lakers. You know what I mean? It’s kind of like if I said D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) was better than LeBron [James]. LeBron is a better basketball player than Dwyane Wade, but when you think about the Miami Heat, who do you think of? “… I think there were five better basketball players that played for the Lakers at one time, but that’s not taking anything away from Kobe Bryant. He’s one of the greatest basketball players that’s ever walked the face of this earth.”
Jason Williams: What’s good world?! 💜 So I noticed I kind of stirred the pot so to speak last week with my comments about Kobe. 🙏🏼 I’ve seen some of your comments, but not nearly all of them… Some are positive, some not so positive!!! The anger that some folks have over this conversation is awesome to me cause it means you care!! 🏀 Now with that being said let me explain what I meant last week. First off: KOBE BEAN BRYANT is the greatest ✨LAKER✨ EVER!!! PERIOD!!! 💯 In the conversation you all heard, my thinking was that we were talking about ALL the greatest NBA players EVER who wore the Laker purple and gold jersey for at least ONE season. I wasn’t talking about the greatest LAKER ever… because of course that’s Kobe!!! Kobe IS the Lakers!!! 💛💜 But in what I was saying, I was thinking about WILT, KAREEM, MAGIC, SHAQ, LEBRON… (That’s my top 5 players who ever played in a Laker jersey *in no particular order* in case y’all wondering!)… those players who—in my opinion—were/are better than KOBE!! That’s just my opinion! Doesn’t mean I’m saying it’s a fact!! 🤷🏼♂️ So my bad if I’ve hurt any of y’all feelings, it’s just my opinion!!! I love this game and I respect this game!! It has nothing to do with Kobe bustin my team’s ass just about every time we played them either. 👏🏼 Really the only difference between my opinion and y’all opinion is that I just happened to play against some of these dudes we talkin about and that’s it!! And I’ll do ya one better… The people I’ve named are way above my talent level!!!! Legends!! GOATs!!! 🐐🏆
HoopsHype poll of 52 current and former NBA players names Michael Jordan most influential player ever
Many people debate who’s the greatest player ever, but there’s no debate for the most influential player of all time, and we have the numbers to prove it. HoopsHype polled a mix of 52 former and current NBA players for their most influential players ever, and Michael Jordan won in a landslide.
Some prioritized production and impact long-term on the court. Others prioritized influence off the court from cultural branding, style, music, and experience as an executive. In our scoring system, the top vote on a former or current player’s ballot received five points, the second received four points, the third received three points, the fourth received two points, and the fifth received one point. Below are the results of the poll.
Michael Jordan: Share of the vote: 73.85 percent of the maximum amount possible Almost half of the voters in our poll (25) voted Michael Jordan No. 1 on their ballots. No other player got more than five first-place votes. MJ really ran the table here, and how can you argue with that? His on-court accomplishments are unimpeachable, as is the cultural impact. He was, after all, the most famous person on the planet for a while, turning millions into basketball fans across the globe. “He just made the game look so fun and painted an amazing picture with the way he played,” one former NBA player who played for Jordan told HoopsHype. “Off the court, seeing how he carried himself. He showed the business side from a branding standpoint that was unreal. His logo speaks for itself, and he ran the basketball operations of the Wizards and played while doing it.”
Share of the vote for LeBron James: 37.69 percent of the maximum amount possible No player has ever entered the NBA with more hype as a teenager and exceeded those expectations more than LeBron James, who finished with the most second-place votes (11) in the poll. His nationally televised free agency decision in 2010 across the country was an iconic must-see television moment. “LeBron’s ability to influence his peers, public opinion, his basketball dominance from a very young age, and his philanthropic work puts him up there with the most influential NBA athletes,” one former NBA player and current assistant coach told HoopsHype.
LeBron James could beat Michael Jordan for oldest player to lead the NBA in scoring
LeBron James on poor 2011 Finals performance: I lost myself in the moment
Now more than a decade later, it is clear that that bitter loss still stings for LeBron James. In a recent episode of HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted, James revealed the harsh reality behind that unforgettable moment in his career. According to LeBron, the reason why they lost that series was because he was in a different place mentally: “My first year in Miami I was down here I was literally like, I wanted to prove everybody wrong,” LeBron said. “And I like literally lost myself in the moment. I lost myself. And I got all the way to the championship that year and lost. Afterwards I was like we lost because I wasn’t even there.”
LeBron James on not being mentioned among best scorers ever: It pisses me off
In a recent episode of “The Shop,” LeBron James admitted that it pisses him off when he is not mentioned amongst the greatest scorers in NBA history. “When they talk about the best scorers of all time, they never mention my name,” James said in the episode. “It pisses me off.”
James added that he does not consider himself to be a score-first player. Instead, he prefers to get his teammates involved. “I’m not like a natural scorer,” James said. “I love getting my guys involved, I’ve always been that way.”
Jorge Sierra: 🐐 MOST PLAYOFF SERIES LED IN SCORING 🐐 Michael Jordan: 36 LeBron James: 36 There’s a caveat, though: MJ played only 37 series to LeBron’s 49. Jordan was only outscored once… by Terry Cummings… by one point.
When asked the poll question, NBA legend and NBA TV analyst Isiah Thomas responded “Absolutely,” Giannis would perform at the same level. But, Thomas didn’t stop there. He went on the rail against former players trashing current players and even mentioned Oakley by name. “Giannis going around Oakley, Giannis going around all them. He dunkin’ on them. He bigger, he faster, he stronger. You can talk all that stuff ’cause you don’t play no more. You can talk all that stuff ’cause you got gray hair and you sitting on the sidelines, smoking cigars about what you used to do. That dude will dog you ever single time y’all step on the court.”
“He’d be dunkin’ on all them,” Thomas said of the players from his era, pleading with them to stop the hate: “All y’all stop it with ‘he wouldn’t dominate in the 80s.’ We ain’t never seen no dude like this come into our league. And give him his props, give him his credit. He would dog anybody in the 80s, 90s, 2000s and 3020 when we get there,” Thomas said.
First Take: .@IsiahThomas believes that LeBron is the most dominant player he’s ever seen. “When he passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in scoring, you HAVE to anoint him as the GOAT.”
In 2016 LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers made history not just by winning the first NBA championship in the history of the franchise but also by coming back from being 1-3 down in the Finals. That was when James felt like he is the greatest player of all time. “That moment I was like ‘I’m the greatest basketball player people will ever see.’ In all facets. I can play the 1 through 5, I can guard 1 through 5,” James told former NBA star Kenny Smith. “Just literally did something that’s never been done in the history of the sport. I mean teams that go down 3-1 was 0 for like 32 in Finals history. Nobody ever coming out of there and nobody gave us a chance.”
NBA Central: LeBron on the moment he felt like he was the greatest player of all-time: pic.twitter.com/iYP2JTkHbn
Michael Jordan checks in at No. 1 in The Athletic's Top 75 list
This ranking is not in dispute. It’s a formality, a wave of the hand, a tip of the cap, an admittance of the obvious. The sky is blue. The earth is round. Michael Jordan, No. 1 on The Athletic’s NBA 75. The best player in the 75-year history of the NBA. Case closed. There is no next. There is only one, and it’s Jordan.
“He checks all the boxes, and nobody else checks every box,” said veteran Jordan chronicler, journalist and author Sam Smith. This isn’t new ground for him. Smith actually wrote a book about Jordan titled “There Is No Next.” Smith also wrote the seminal 1992 book “The Jordan Rules,” which humanized and demythologized Jordan at the beginning of his incredible run of winning six NBA titles in two symmetrical three-peats.
But in the “image is everything” era when Jordan made exponentially more money outside of basketball from endorsements, no one backed it up on the court like Jordan. He created a new world in both sports marketing and sports myth-making. “In tennis or golf or boxing, the mystique is the individual,” Jordan’s agent David Falk said to Henry Louis Gates Jr. in a 1998 New Yorker story. “Whereas no matter how great Bill Russell or Bob Cousy was, it was the Celtics dynasty, it was always institutional. Michael changed all that. Singlehanded.”
Steve Kerr won three titles with Jordan, another two with David Robinson and Tim Duncan and then three more as a coach with the Warriors. He’s played and coached against the best players in the league since the late 1980s. During the 2017 postseason, he joked about the “back in my day” philosophy comparing champions of yesterday to the unworthy teams of the present. “The game gets worse as time goes on,” he said. “Players are less talented than they used to be. The guys in the ’50s would’ve destroyed everybody. It’s weird how human evolution goes in reverse in sports. Players get weaker, smaller, less skilled. I don’t know. I can’t explain it.”
Eric Walden: Quin Snyder adds that the Jazz really struggled in transition against the Lakers. Also had nothing late for LeBron James, “the greatest player of all time. Some people might dispute that, but that’s what I’m calling him.”
Oakley spent most of the event taking questions from students, including one about who’s the best player between Jordan and LeBron James. “They’re both different players, it’s kind of asking if you like Corn Flakes or Frosted Flakes better,” Oakley said. “You like them both.” When asked how hard it was to reach the NBA, Oakley said, “You only get out of life what you put in.”
LeBron is, according to The Athletic’s voting panel of NBA experts, the second-greatest player ever. Which makes him, arguably, the greatest ever. All time. Through 75 history-rich seasons. From Akron, Ohio, to the top of the world.
For years, the debate has been Michael or LeBron? LeBron loses that one more than he wins, but he still has the chance to change more minds. Either way, he has been so great, for so long, LeBron has elevated himself to the most rarefied air in NBA history, and we know he’s been there for quite some time. Maybe the only question is, does LeBron know?
“No, I don’t,” James said with a pause, as he walked through the loading docks at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. “One thing that I do know is that I am gifted, and I put in the work to be as great as I can be on the floor,” he said. “And I understand that through time and commitment and dedication that I put myself in position to be mentioned with some of the greats that ever played basketball, period. Not just in the NBA, but period.”
HoopsHype: Where do the GOATs rank statistically in their respective draft classes? Both Kareem and LeBron are No. 1 in all main categories.
MJ. LeBron. Kobe. Magic. Steph @Money23Green gives @CGray209 his Top 5 on #ThrowingBones. ??
Isiah Thomas: The greatest all around player ever let it be known @KingJames @ESPNNBA @FirstTake @NBA @NBATV
Dwyane Wade: They're gonna forget about Michael Jordan like we forgot about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
“These GOATs, these names that we throw out, it’s not gonna just be a lot of those players. But the game continues to keep moving forward. And so we are gonna continue to see things that we have never seen before. And the eyes are gonna get younger and younger,” Wade said on the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. “We are not going to have a conversation about the GOATs. Now it’s going to be the younger, younger, younger generation. And they’re gonna forget about Jordan like we forget about Kareem.”
Jorge Sierra: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the only player in the Top 10 in three of the five main statistical categories. That’s no longer the case. After last night’s game, LeBron James is also Top 10 in three categories (points, assists AND steals). Isiah Thomas: The two GOATS @kaj33 @KingJames let it be known.
Jorge Sierra: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the only player in the Top 10 in three of the five main statistical categories. That’s no longer the case. After last night’s game, LeBron James is also Top 10 in three categories (points, assists AND steals). Jared Sullinger Sr.: Real talk Kareem don’t get talked about enough. But Bron will damn near be in every top 10. That’s amazing and laughable at the same time…. Dudes unreal
Al Harrington: 'LeBron James has dominated an era of his little bros'
In the eyes of Harrington, players in the Jordan era were a lot less friendly with each other compared to the way players interact today. “Michael Jordan came up in the era where everybody hated each other,” Harrington said. “They did not f— with each other, was no homeboys in the offseason, was no, ‘Let’s go to the clubs in the summer and go holler at some chicks.’ It was none of that. … When they played, it was war. LeBron has dominated an era of his little bros. They all his little bros, everybody. Who he had it with? Who? What star has LeBron had it with? What team has LeBron had it with?”
James scored a season-high 39 points in Indianapolis, including eight of L.A.’s 12 points in the extra session, to help the Lakers erase a 12-point second-half deficit and finish their five-game road trip with a record of 2-3. James made the day a special one, lifting L.A. back to .500 at 10-10, securing the win without Anthony Davis, who was out with flu-like symptoms. “That’s why he’s the GOAT, man,” said Lakers guard Malik Monk, who had 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench. “I’ve been watching him my whole life. He’s like our [Michael] Jordan in my generation.”
The three-time NBA champion was asked whether he’d rather build a team around Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry or Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant. Wade gave it some thought, but he ultimately decided to go with Curry. “I’m gonna go with Steph,” Wade told Dan Patrick after being asked whether he’d rather start a team with Curry or Durant. “… I guess I went with Steph because Steph has kind of revolutionized the sport. He’s one of those Mount Rushmores from the sense of changing the game the way he has.”
TheWarriorsTalk: Joe Lacob via @957thegame : “How many championships does LeBron have?  Steph has?  I really wanna see Steph get into that pantheon, at least equal to him. Nothing against him…”
Kevin Garnett: 'I've definitely said some crazy s--- to LeBron'
As for two other legends Garnett crossed paths with, during a video call a few months later, I ask him about the difference between Michael Jordan and LeBron James. “It’s a different level of respect,” he replies. “Michael Jordan I looked at as f—— God. And I thought he was my version of what basketball looked like. And with LeBron, it was more like the little homie. Here’s the little homie growing up, and man, little homie is getting better than everybody! God damn!… I definitely talked some s— to him. I’ve definitely said some crazy s— to him. He’s definitely said some crazy s— back to me.” Garnett also praises LeBron for carrying the NBA as long as he has: “You’ve gotta have that in you to be able to have those shoulders to carry it. No man is perfect in this s—, and there ain’t no telltale book on how to do this s—. He’s done a great f—— job. I just felt like it was only right to give him that respect.”
Shawn Marion on LeBron, Kobe and MJ comparisons: “Let’s just appreciate what he’s done, man. I mean, right now and I’ma leave it like this. Last time that I checked MJ was the first person to wear number #23. Is he not? So the next person to take the number #23? It was LeBron. But Kobe emulated everything MJ did on the court; from the fadeaway to all that other stuff and he truly patented his game after MJ. I don’t think LeBron ever tried to do that. I think LeBron is setting out to follow in his [MJ’s] steps to try to be the best player he can be in this generation, which he did. Because when you look at it I think it’s generational.
Shawn Marion: I think LeBron, by far, has been one the best athletes that we’ve witnessed to see right now and we’ve got to appreciate it. Stop trying to compare the two. If you’re really going to try to compare those two, Kobe was the closest thing skillswise to MJ, but LeBron is a different type of player. I mean, athletic-wise when you look at LeBron you don’t look at him as a scorer-scorer because he does everything on the floor, and he wants to do everything on the floor. So just appreciate it for what he’s done and how he’s doing it; going to as many NBA Finals and vice-versa and just leave it at that. I don’t think that you can compare the two. I think MJ is in his own lane just as well as LeBron is in his own lane. I got the chance to play against LeBron, Kobe and MJ and I gotta say Kobe as far as skill set and mentality is the CLOSEST thing to MJ.
Scottie Pippen: My years in Chicago, beginning as a rookie in the fall of 1987, were the most rewarding of my career: twelve men coming together as one, fulfilling the dreams we had as kids in playgrounds across the land when all we needed was a ball, a basket, and our imagination. To be a member of the Bulls during the 1990s was to be part of something magical. For our times and for all time. Except Michael was determined to prove to the current generation of fans that he was larger-than-life during his day—and still larger than LeBron James, the player many consider his equal, if not superior. So Michael presented his story, not the story of the “Last Dance,” as our coach, Phil Jackson, billed the 1997–98 season once it became obvious the two Jerrys (owner Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Jerry Krause) were intent on breaking up the gang no matter what happened.
Bob Pettit: I played against some of the greatest players to ever play the game. When you start picking centers, it’s hard to beat Wilt and Bill Russell. In my opinion, Russell is the greatest player who ever played. I’d pick him to start my team, in his prime, any time. Then the Lakers had both Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. They were such wonderful players. You have to include Oscar Robertson, too. He’s one of the greatest all-around players to ever play. These guys can play any time, anywhere and be extremely successful. You can build a team around any of them today.
BIG BABY !!: To you in your personal opinion who’s the greatest basketball player of all time. Damian Lillard: MJ.
Recounting his memories about the pair, former Sacramento Kings scorer Walt Williams heaped praise on Bias and even reckoned that the late former college basketball prodigy was indeed “a little bit ahead” of Jordan in terms of overall skills. “I know certainly either we would have been talking about him [Bias] as the greatest of all time, or Jordan would be on an even different level,” Williams recently told Basketball Network. “I think those guys certainly would have pushed each other to the max. The thing about Len Bias when you compare him to Michael Jordan, I think he was a little bit ahead of Michael when they were in college with his skillset.” “The jump shot that Bias had that was just the prettiest thing you could ever see,” he added. “He could defend multiple positions; he was a kind of a hybrid of how you see the game played now. And that’s the tragedy of not seeing a Len Bias. I think the game would have gravitated to where it is much quicker.”
Too often the NBA’s greatest-of-all-time debate gets boiled down to Jordan vs. LeBron. I know this bothers many observers who were old enough to watch you play; how bothersome is it to you to be excluded from the GOAT discussion? Kareem: GOAT discussions are fun, like debating who’s faster: Superman or the Flash. It’s a metaphysical mystery. The question can never be answered because players from the past were trained under different restrictions and played under different rules. Then you have to ask what to give more weight to: Scoring, defense, assists? All of them? But the stats don’t always reveal the particular conditions and challenges of each season. Way too many variables. How about we just discuss the O’GOAT (One of the Greatest of All-Time)?
Shaquille O’Neal: I agree.
NBA Central: Cade Cunningham calls LeBron the G.O.A.T. over Michael Jordan “LeBron is the best player I’ve seen with my eyes. … I’ve seen all the Michael Jordan stuff, dude is different. I can’t argue with the fact that you think he is the GOAT but…I say LeBron.” lakersdaily.com/cade-cunningha…
The list of MVP awards, All-Star appearances and other accolades is extensive, but in the eyes of NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, James isn’t better than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant because of the talent he’s played with, as he said on HBO’s “Back on the Record with Bob Costas“: “In fairness, I don’t even put LeBron past Kobe; let’s get that out of the way…LeBron has stacked his teams; let’s be realistic…The struggle is a part of your legacy.”
Kyle Kuzma: Greatest ever no question
Marc Stein: The NBA, I’m told, will release an all-new top 75 players when the list is unveiled in October. Meaning that players listed among the league’s original top 50 revealed in 1997 at an All-Star Weekend (also in Cleveland) are not all automatically assured of a spot in the top 75.
But this time around, it’s not a current superstar or an NBA legend who weighed in on the whole global conundrum of Who’s Better Between LeBron and MJ? But nevertheless, he’s quite controversial: Tennis star Nick Kyrgios. In a video recently posted by the ATP Tour on Instagram, Kyrgios was asked the age-old question. The fiery Australian, as expected, gave a bold answer. “LeBron’s better than Jordan. Not even a debate.”
On if the constant ‘G.O.A.T.’ debate gets exhausting: LeBron: It can be exhausting, you said it, but I’ve always looked at it like any time you’re compared or you’re even mentioned with the greats to ever play this game, it’s become humbling for me, because the same people they put me in the category with … are the same guys that I looked up to for inspiration when I was growing up. And I needed that inspiration growing up in the inner city here in Akron, Ohio. So to have the Michael Jordans’, the Kobe Bryants’, the Ken Griffey Jrs’, the Deion Sanders’, all those unbelievable sports figures when I needed it, they helped me. So it’s like, ‘Wow, you guys are comparing me to these greatest players that I’ve ever seen when I was growing up. It’s humbling, man.
Matt Barnes says Steve Kerr is absolutely right … telling TMZ Sports Kevin Durant is, in fact, “more gifted” than Michael Jordan! “He didn’t say a better player,” Barnes told us out at LAX this week. “He just said more gifted.”
Scottie Pippen: LeBron James won 2016 title without any help
Scottie Pippen: LeBron James won a championship without any help
With his star teammates, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, going down to injury, Durant averaged 35.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists on 42.7 minutes per game in the Nets’ Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, including 49 points in Game 5 and 48 in Game 7. “He just showed he’s the most talented basketball player on earth, if not of all time,” Kerr said. “Honestly. He’s just so gifted. I loved coaching him, and I’m looking forward to doing so again.”
Kerr won two championships with Jordan as a teammate on the Chicago Bulls and won two more coaching Durant, so he just might have the best perspective of anyone when it comes to this debate. “I think he’s more gifted, I really do,” Kerr said. “That’s saying something, but Kevin is a different … entirely different breed. He’s 6-11 with guard skills, unlimited 3-point range, passing, shot-blocking — his shot-blocking at the rim, it’s just stunning. Watching him this year was really, really gratifying to see.
Steve Kerr: Kevin Durant 'more gifted' than Michael Jordan, most talented player on Earth, if not all time
“I think he’s more gifted, I really do,” Kerr said of Durant when prodded by NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai to compare the two players. “That’s saying something, but Kevin is different … entirely different breed. He’s 6-foot-11 with guard skills, unlimited 3-point range, passing, shot-blocking — his shot-blocking at the rim, it’s just stunning.”
“Durant has just showed he’s the most talented basketball player on earth, if not of all time,” Kerr said. “Honestly He’s just so gifted.”
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March 27, 2023 | 4:16 am EDT Update
“I feel great,” Brown said. “I’m on a 50-win team right now that you can’t take for granted. Tonight was the 50th win. And right now I’m focused on helping to lead my team for another playoff run. In terms of speculation, et cetera, I can’t speculate on anything above what I’m doing right now. I think sometimes when people write articles they get taken out of context especially when writers have their own agendas or whatever. So for me personally, I’m thinking about clarifying some of the things that have been recently said. But other than that, I’m just focused on my team. I’m focused on playing basketball and winning games.”
Patrick Beverley: 'The Lakers, you know, I was a spoon and they used me as a fork'
Greg Beacham: Patrick Beverley, asked if Chicago is the perfect fit for him: “Yeah. If I’m a spoon, Billy (Donovan) is using me as a spoon. The Lakers, you know, I was a spoon and they used me as a fork.”
Beverley talked a lot leading up to the game, something he said Sunday “wasn’t talk.” “So, I can’t even say it was talk,” Beverley said. “Great timing. I’m pretty sure Charmin enjoyed it a lot. I missed the window, like two weeks to post it. I had to post it last minute after a loss, when we played Philly. It just happened to come out the L.A. weekend. So, that doesn’t affect the way I go about the game. I’m here to win games and win a lot of them, and I’m fortune we got a win today.”
Patrick Beverley: 'We're not construction workers... It's all about having fun'
After the game, in which he had 10 points and five assists, Beverley was calm and collected in explaining his “too small” routine directed at James. “I do it to everybody,” Beverley said. “I was just having fun, getting lost in the game. Just getting lost in the game, having fun, man. We’re not construction workers. We’re not guys that have to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning. We’re professional basketball players. It’s all about having fun. That’s what we tried to do tonight, well, what I tried to do tonight.”
“I was just playing basketball, trying to get lost in basketball,” Beverley said. “Yeah, it was fun, man. Tonight was fun. Obviously, it’s good to see some old teammates, old coaching staff. The opportunity coach Ham [and] Pelinka gave me when I was with the Lakers never goes unforgotten. Always grateful. Fortunate to get a win tonight.”
After the game, Beasley wished his 4-year-old son a happy birthday in a post to Instagram. But unfortunately, some Lakers fans left hurtful comments on the post about Beasley’s performance on the court. That led to Beasley calling out the negativity and asking for respect. “It’s my sons bday and I’m trying to enjoy that,” Beasley wrote in a comment that he pinned to his post. “obviously I want to be making shots my self. I’m harder on myself then [sic] anybody.. laker nation it’s only a matter of time. I put in toooo much work not too [sic]. I promise when the time to turn up comes, it will come. “Let’s focus on getting to playoffs,” Beasley continued. “Positively is the only way to move forward from here. Love y’all and just show some respect to me and my family .. including @montanayao”