“The Last Dance” has helped raise the awareness and appreciation for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. But when it comes to the GOAT debate, and trying to settle the argument between Michael and LeBron James, it hasn’t done much to quell the fire.
In fact, one could say the noise has gotten even louder since the first release of the documentary last month. But no matter whose side you’re on in the neverending battle, the question still remains: if LeBron isn’t the GOAT, how can he earn that title at this stage of his career?
It’s not an easy question to answer, but Bill Simmons presented an interesting case in an appearance on ESPN’s First Take.
“He’s got to beat him with time. It’s got to be a thing where he is still succeeding in his third decade as an NBA player and the totality of his resume, we just look at it and we go ‘he just had a better career.’ Jordan basically peaks from ’87 to ’98 but takes a year and a half off for baseball. If LeBron is still going in year 21 and 22, the numbers are just gonna be insurmountable at some point from a career standpoint.”
As Simmons explains, the argument will split between who was better in their prime, and who had the better overall career.
“I think it’ll turn into two different arguments. It’ll turn into ‘whose apex was the best’ and then ‘whose career was the best?”
— First Take (@FirstTake) May 15, 2020
It’s certainly an interesting point. If LeBron continues to be dominant over the next four or five seasons, one has to think it would be enough to surpass Jordan, especially if he wins another Championship.
And right now, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be good for another few seasons. In year 16, at 35-years-old, James is having one of the best campaigns of his career with averages of 25.7 points, 10.6 assists, and 7.9 rebounds.
What he’s doing now (at this age) is truly unprecedented and who knows how many more years of this he has left.