The GOAT debate will likely never die down even after LeBron James is done playing and retires. Michael Jordan and LeBron James stay connected at the hip thanks to this one never-ending conversation, although Jordan does tend to have more supporters for his case than LeBron does. James has earned a big one though, it would seem, with Dr. J himself, Julius Erving, dubbing LeBron the GOAT, and the Chosen One.
In a conversation on the Rich Eisen Show, Dr. J was asked about LeBron James closing in on the NBA's all-time scoring record, currently held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and thought to be insurmountable for many a decade. However, LeBron is well on pace to break it and as per Erving, James has gone past everybody throughout his 19-year long career in the league.
Interviewer: "LeBron is closing in right, on the all-time points record right now. SO what are your thoughts on LeBron James and where he rests on the all-time conversation, the GOATness, if you will."
Julius Erving: "Well, he's gone past everybody for one thing. He comes in at 18 years old and he had the pro body and the pro ability as a high schooler. I really haven't seen anybody have that package. Moses, he was probably the closest and there was Bill Willoughby who it didn't work out for. And there were some other guys, like Kevin Garnett, but he's not LeBron and he's not Moses.
"So, LeBron is the Chosen One in that regard. He's gonna play into his 40s. He's gonna have, you know, a 22 or 23-year career. And nobody's done that in basketball either. Those last few years for Shaq and for Kobe, you know they were on the bench, they were on the sidelines. LeBron, it won't be the same for him. So he can still be that complete player... He's a total machine. He's gonna be the guy. He's gonna be the guy who re-establishes the bar for what the GOAT is."
LeBron's longevity at the very top is unmatched in the history of the league, vying for the scoring title at age 37 is unheard of. The King will need at least another title to establish his case as the GOAT, which seems tougher, but there is no doubt that with each passing year that he stays at the highest level, his case to be considered the GOAT only continues to improve. He's not too far behind Michael Jordan after all.