Michael Jordan has finally shared his opinion on one of the hottest topics in the NBA right now. The Chicago Bulls legend is always compared with current Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James on the GOAT debate.
His fans and LeBron’s have their strong opinions and nobody is going to change the way other people think. Most fans are urging others to just appreciate greatness since it’s very difficult to compare players from different eras, who played with different styles of play, different rules and more.
Back in 2017, Jordan sat down with Marvin R. Shanken for an interview on Cigar Aficionado, talking about several topics, including the never-ending debate (which wasn’t as hot in 2017 as it is today) and expressed his real thoughts about it. When talking about the GOAT debate in golf between Jack Mickelson and Tiger Woods, Jordan said that comparing players from different eras is just unfair, bringing the topic to the NBA.
“First of all you’re never going to say who’s the greatest of all time. To me that’s more for PR and more for selling stories and getting hype,” MJ told Shanken. “Jack and Tiger never played against each other. They never played in the same tournament. They never played with the same equipment. They never played with the same length of golf course.
“I never played against Wilt Chamberlain. I never played against Jerry West. To now say that one’s greater than the other is being a little bit unfair. I think when you can see the similarities and you understand if this is one way you can judge the two. How much impact did each change or evolve the game.
“Jack during his time when he played or Tiger during his time. Now, obviously Jack won more during the time he played. Tiger evolved it to where it crossed a lot of different boundaries. Where it’s not just a white guy sport. You know the black guys Afro-Americans. You know all the minorities played the game. And you played at a level to where it generated so much interest financially. That it grew the game from a financial standpoint.
“Does that constitute him being the greatest? Does that he’s any less than Jack? I think it’s unfair. Yeah Jack probably has 18 more majors and Tiger’s got 14. I think that’s how people are judging certain things.
“I won six championships. Bill Russell won eleven. Does that make Bill Russell better than me and make me better than him? No. Because we played in different eras. So when you try to equate who’s the greatest of all time, it’s an unfair parallel, it’s an unfair choice.
“Those are the demons that obviously Tiger had to live with it and he’s going to be challenged and he’s going to be graded upon that. But for me think they’re both great. I would never pick one over the other.”
His Airness is widely considered the greatest player of all time after winning two three-peats in the 90s. Jordan isn’t only one of the best basketball players in the world but one of the best athletes in history. His mindset was something else, his competitiveness was unmatched and all the things he won are the prime sample that he was a bad man on the hardwoods.
However, he just prefers people to appreciate what he did, to appreciate what others before and after him did and stop engaging in useless debates about who the real GOAT is.
(GOAT Debate starts at 34:42):