The GOAT debate has been present in the NBA for a while now, as LeBron James has made a compelling case to be at least a top-2 player of all time. The King has exceeded expectations, playing in more NBA Finals than many franchises around the league, winning four championships and many individual awards.
His fans believe he has achieved enough to be considered the greatest player of all time, surpassing Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan. This debate is very hot right now, with former and current players giving their two pennies on it, trying to explain why they believe one player is better than the other.
Gilbert Arenas broke down why Bron is better than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant in his eyes, crediting LeBron's ability to make everybody around him better. Talking with Whistle, Arenas explained that LeBron always made the right play even in the hardest situations:
The reason I felt that LeBron is the GOAT is because during pressure times, he still makes the actual right decision vs. what us fans and the public wants him to do. That is what separates him from Jordan and Kobe, where if you give Jordan or Kobe those Cavs teams, they wouldn’t make the playoffs, and they wouldn’t make it to the championship. Jordan would just average 60 and say, ‘the hell with it’.
He recalled one 2006 series where LeBron dominated his Washington Wizards, but also made sure that the rest of his team helped him secure a big win:
He decoyed to give everybody else a chance to get involved in the game before he took over, and I thought that was special. He decoys himself to get everybody else involved, and then he takes over, and then he decoys again. He could score 70 against everybody else.
Moreover, he mentioned LeBron's IQ and how easy it is for him to adapt to any situation. That has taken him to the next level, and it's the reason why he keeps thriving in the league right now:
From year 17, 18th, to year 1 what set LeBron apart was his IQ, his ability to adapt, his ability to read. That is something we didn’t understand first time matching up against him, is how smart he really was. There were times where we are leaving, a certain guy opened knowing no one in their right mind would pass it to him, which he would, and the outcome was great. I understood he understands the game really well, but I didn’t realize then he is willing to sacrifice his name, his integrity of being bashed to make the right play. He believes in his teammates, which gives them a sense of believing in themselves too. Because he still believes in his teammates, they still believe in themselves too during crucial times and that is what makes LeBron the GOAT.
LeBron is definitely a generational player. We must be grateful that we got to see him thrive in Cleveland, Miami, and now in Los Angeles. The 37-year-old is a huge legend already, and he keeps boosting his already impressive resume. James keeps playing at the highest level and nobody can tell when he will stop. Once he finishes his career, many people will crown him as the GOAT, just like Arenas did last year.