For most old school fans, there's just no doubt that Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time. For the younger, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are also in the conversation, and, to be honest; all of them have valid points and impressive résumés.
If you were to ask Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, he'd lean towards Jordan. However, he recently admitted in an interview for 'All The Smoke' that Kobe Bryant could almost match his toughness and competitive drive:
“Michael was just tough. Mike was ruthless. Kobe approached his competitiveness. Other than that, I’ve never seen anyone more competitive. I remember his rookie year was my second year. And he got up to be the amazing star. And we played the memory map of the game. My first thought was there’s no way he can play that hard all season," Rivers said.
Doc also lauded Kobe's consistency, effort, and grit. He was amazed by the fact that he was as motivated and competitive as he was during his rookie season, and that's what made him stand out from the rest of the stars in the league:
“And like, 10 years later, he was still playing the same way. I was amazed how much he gave on the defensive end and the offensive end, and his energy level at which he played like, I don’t know if there been anything like that," he added.
But, when asked frontally and directly about the GOAT debate, Doc Rivers had quite a valid point, claiming that Jordan will be unmatched skill-wise but LeBron's career is the best in basketball history:
“For me, Michael is the greatest player. But LeBron is gonna have the greatest career ever. And what he’s doing right now is incredible," he sentenced.
Well, that's fair. Maybe LeBron James won't be as much of a dominant two-way player as Michael Jordan was. Maybe his losing record in the Finals will also hurt his GOAT status. But you just can't take anything away from him and what he's accomplished, especially if - when - he retires as the all-time leading scorer in NBA history. Maybe we can agree that there's more than just one GOAT.