The GOAT debate has been a recurrent topic around the league in the past year. Ever since Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls' 10-part docu-series 'The Last Dance' aired, everybody has something to say about who the greatest player of all time is.
These discussions never end with a clear winner, but fans and analysts keep having them, even though it doesn't help anybody or bring something new to the table. Still, that won't change anything, and people will keep arguing about the greatest NBA player ever.
LeBron James and Michael Jordan are often pitted against each other in these discussions, getting diverse responses depending on who you ask. Recently, former LeBron's teammate Iman Shumpert talked about this never-ending debate, siding with MJ. Talking on "The Bootleg Kev Podcast," Iman talked about the GOAT, giving his flowers to LeBron, but claiming that Jordan is on another level.
"Like I said, man, Bron, you my dog," Shumpert said. "You know this, though. Me and Bron been in arguments about this. He's in the conversation. He's getting compared to Michael Jordan. We're having real-life arguments in barbershops about who's between him and Mike. He don't get mad for it."
Shumpert talked about LeBron and Jordan's competitiveness, saying that if he was LeBron, he would challenge Jordan to a one-on-one game to settle this debate once and for all.
"That's what I'm saying about Bron that's raw as f**k to me. 'Cause me, personally, I'll be like Mike gotta play me one-on-one, f**k all that. We streaming this s**t."
"I low-key think Mike's so competitive, bro. Mike could come out of retirement right now to play Bron one-on-one."
When Jordan's competition was questioned by host Bootleg Kev, Shumpert couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"Are you serious right now? You're being dead serious, bro. Do you know who Michael Jordan had to deal with, bro? You for real?"
"You tell me who lost," he said when the comparisons came up.
When Kev criticized the Portland Trail Blazers MJ beat in the 1992 Finals, Iman had a big response.
"That's a d**k-sucking statement."
Moreover, the two-time Western Conference champions Utah Jazz and the 2011/12 Oklahoma City Thunder were compared, but Shumpert wasn't having any of that.
"We got LeBron James. We can match up with the Jazz. I can get off a screen. We could deal with John Stockton. ...Who was gonna guard Mike on that Thunder team? It wasn't gonna be KD, he don't want to do it. Who was gonna guard Mike? 'Cause Scottie Pippen was gonna guard KD, Mike was on defensive teams, he was gonna take Russ. Who we gotta deal with?"
"Don't violate the Bulls. Do not compare these new teams to them Bulls. I don't think y'all remember how them Bulls played."
Iman had a comeback for whatever Kev threw at him. He was and still is a big admirer of the Bulls and Jordan. The "Dancing With The Stars" winner saw Michael Jordan play and was inspired by him. He also shared touches with LeBron James and saw firsthand how unique The King is. One would imagine his opinion should matter more, but not everybody thinks that way.
Shumpert joins a list of teammates, friends and rivals of LeBron James who picked Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time. He has been very vocal about LeBron's career, even saying the 4x NBA champion ruined the game when he joined the Miami Heat in 2010.
The GOAT debate isn't ending anytime soon, no matter how annoying it has become for some people like Charles Barkley. People will keep milking it until LeBron retires or new figures join the discussion.