Michael Jordan and LeBron James are, for plenty of fans around the world, the two best players in NBA history. Regardless of the position, they are the best of the best in the GOAT conversation, but some people have different opinions about what player belongs to which position. This debate has intensified this year, especially after Jordan released its award-winning docuseries "The Last Dance".
ESPN's Max Kellerman recently made the case for Michael Jordan as the GOAT and he went further to explain why LeBron James will never catch on His Airness regardless of what accolades he adds to his already impressive résumé. When talking about LeBron becoming the GOAT if he wins a fifth NBA ring, Kellerman said (0:27 mark):
“No, LeBron’s already got the career argument it’s either him or Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar]. And I think in the pros, in the NBA considering how LeBron is still playing at his age, it’s LeBron. Peak is [Michael] Jordan. And I don’t see where LeBron will elevate his peak over Jordan’s.”
He then explained why James will never reach Jordan's level.
“When we talk about greatest guys, I don’t we just mean add up all the winshares by the end of the career… Nor do I think it’s just a guy who had one season…We’re talking about a guy who’s prime, who concentrated the highest level of performance over a significant number of years.
“… Every time you gave, here Jordan here’s an All-Star, he won the finals in under 7 games. And put up numbers of the likes we’ve never seen. And was an all-world defender. He’s the greatest of all-time, I don’t think LeBron can catch him.”
Kellerman is right with his explanation of Jordan being the best of the best during his peak. He had no competition during his best years and delivered a title every time he went to the Finals. LeBron is still around and playing at the highest level 10 days away from turning 36. The King's longevity is unmatched and that's precisely what keeps him close to Jordan on this debate.
He just won his 4th NBA championship and LeBron isn't stopping there. One or two more titles will put him on another level and perhaps will change people's minds about the King and his status as the greatest to ever do it.