The “Who is the G.O.A.T” debate is one of the best topics of discussion you can have. Most people agree that Michael Jordan is the greatest ever, and they’d be right. 6 rings, 6 Finals MVP, highest scoring average of all time, 5 MVPs and the reputation as the best closer in the history of sports, the greatest performer in the history of sports and the greatest mentality in the history of sports. LeBron is in the conversation though. LBJ has cemented himself as a top 3 player of all time in my eyes.
Recently Shaq who played when both MJ and LeBron were in their primes refused to compare the two players when asked.
“We’re talking about two different eras,” O’Neal said. “Jordan averaged 30 points when people could beat you up. The game was more physical. In this era, I’d average 45 (points a game) without free throws. Jordan ruled the 90s. Me and Kobe did the 2000s and LeBron’s doing his thing now.”
This makes perfect sense. NBA players are products of the era they played in. If Jordan played today then he would probably have a better 3-point shot given the league’s love of the 3. If LeBron played in the 90s he would be considered tougher than he is today.
When asked about MJ and LeBron’s number O’Neal said. “Numbers-wise, yeah, I guess you could say he’s up there with Jordan.” LeBron’s averages are 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.8 blocks per game on 50.4 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from three-point range. Jordan’s are 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.8 blocks per game on 49.7 percent from the field 32.7 percent from 3.
LeBron still has another 4 years at least for him to achieve even more in his career. He could pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record if he stays healthy and he could even play against his own son which would a world sporting achievement. If LeBron managed to win a title with the Lakers and he was the Finals MVP then that would put LeBron 2nd all time for me and push Magic Johnson down to 3rd.