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Charles Oakley Says Michael Jordan Is The GOAT: "Mike Had Put The Bar So High. I Think LeBron Passed Kobe, But He Didn't Pass Mike."

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Charles Oakley Says Michael Jordan Is The GOAT: "Mike Had Put The Bar So High. I Think LeBron Passed Kobe, But He Didn't Pass Mike."

The GOAT debate is something that has not yet been settled to this day. While Michael Jordan is viewed as the GOAT by a lot of people, a lot of younger fans believe that LeBron James is the GOAT, as basketball continuously evolves, and LeBron James is clearly the best player of this generation.

Charles Oakley has recently stated that Michael Jordan is the GOAT, and stated that he "put the bar so high" when it comes to that debate. There is definitely some truth to that, as it's hard to beat an undefeated Finals record and two separate three-peats. Oakley added that LeBron James "passed" Kobe Bryant, but hasn't "passed" Michael Jordan. Jon Greenberg of The Athletic relayed the news.

In his book, Oakley brings up the LeBron vs. Jordan debate, but Oakley admits that was just to start a conversation.

“That’s why I put that comparison, so people can have a debate,” he said. “But Mike had put the bar so high. I think LeBron passed Kobe, but he didn’t pass Mike. It’s like Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes.”

Oakley, a Cleveland native, is a LeBron fan and marvels at how James lived up to the hype as the No. 1 pick out of high school. James is now 37 and in his 19th year in the NBA and he carries the weight of expectations from high school to this very day.

Bryant fashioned himself after Jordan, pushing himself past mental and physical limits to chase Jordan’s legacy. But it would be impossible for James or Bryant to surpass Jordan because so much of their professional and public identities are described in comparison to him. He set the pace and they gave chase.

There is no doubt that the GOAT debate isn't necessarily something that can be settled completely at this moment. LeBron James is still playing at a high level, and perhaps he can add another championship or two to his resume in the future. With that being said, one would guess that the majority of basketball fans currently lean towards Michael Jordan.

At the end of the day though, Michael Jordan and LeBron James are both GOATs of their respective generations, and there will never be another player like either. Both players have arguments as being the best ever, and until another player surpasses both, the debate will rage on.