Michael Jordan and LeBron James are two superstars entangled in a neverending GOAT debate. As the world attempts to decide their standing in NBA history, the two have often been pitted as rivals.
But, in a statement by Jordan himself, he admitted that James has already made his mark in the history books.
"We play in different eras," Michael Jordan said of the comparisons between him and LeBron James. "He's one of the best players in the world. It's a natural tendency to compare eras to eras. ... I think he's made his mark. He will continue to do so."
LeBron James has won three championships and earned four NBA Finals MVP awards among countless other accolades over the course of his 17-year career. In a somewhat symbolic moment, James eclipsed MJ's career points total last March. His 33,626 points rank fourth all-time, just behind Lakers legend Kobe Bryant (33,643) and ahead of Jordan (32,292). We know how much MJ has had an influence in his career.
"You guys have no idea what M.J. did for me and my friends growing up. Just in a sense of, some days where you just don't feel like you're going to make it to the next day where I grew up, because of everything that's going on. Like I wrote on my shoes today, I thank M.J. more than he would ever know. I've got to carry it on to the next kid. Hopefully I can inspire the next kid."
Jordan, meanwhile, is a six-time Champion, 14x All-Star, and 5x NBA MVP. By all accounts, he is the greatest athlete to ever walk the earth.
And while James continues to build his case against what has always been thought of as an untouchable legacy, the discussion will only continue to rage on. For Jordan, and no doubt many others, there's no reason to compare. They are both great players in their own time.