The debate on which player is the GOAT has probably been around as long as basketball has. Of course, everyone has their preferences on what they value, but some names are universally on most people's lists in terms of deserving candidates for the GOAT mantle.
LeBron James is one of the best players ever, and a lot of people view him as the greatest player of this generation of basketball players. However, Hall of Famer Charles Barkley wasn't sold on LeBron James surpassing Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, as he claimed he'd select the two over LeBron James as the GOAT, due to LeBron James having a lot of talent on his "stacked" teams.
Bob Costas: Jordan or LeBron?
Charles Barkley: Jordan. LeBron is amazing. What he's done in the community is amazing. In fairness, I wouldn't even put LeBron past Kobe, let's get that out of the way. I want to be fair. The reason I put Michael up there, above those other guys. LeBron has stacked his teams, let's be realistic.
There is no doubt that LeBron James has a huge influence on the NBA as a whole, and what he's done off the court speaks volumes of his character. However, Barkley does have a point in saying that LeBron James has played on rosters with a lot of other All-Stars. It is also true though, that a superstar can't win without other good teammates, and even Michael Jordan had a big three of his own with Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen. Kobe Bryant notably had Shaquille O'Neal for his first 3 championships as well.
The debate will continue on through the next generation of basketball players, and perhaps one day, we'll see another player that people view as the next "GOAT". As of now though, many people LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan are in a class of their own.