Who is the greatest basketball player of all time? If this question is asked, then each individual might choose one from two players. Usually, it's either Michael Jordan or LeBron James. Even among them, most seem to tilt in the direction of MJ.
But there was another player who dominated the league for years. He ruled the 2000s and won five NBA championships. Yes, you guessed it right; we are talking about none other than the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
Bryant achieved a lot in his career. Despite his illustrious resume, when it comes to the GOAT debate, Kobe is usually left out. Now, most consider Kobe's game as the closest to MJ, and hence there is a common belief about him not being better than Jordan.
Well, even then he at least deserves a spot in the debate. Anyway, former NBA star Mitch Richmond was asked about his thoughts on the ever-lasting GOAT debate in an interview. Richmond revealed that his choice is Michael Jordan and here is the reason for it:
"I went up against the b***h and every night right, you know what I mean, and I played with Kobe and Kobe was, I mean, he’s in that level no question about it. But Mike changed the game in so many other ways not only on the court but off the court, you know? Then guys all of a sudden started doing endorsements and getting checks from not just playing basketball. He just opened the door for a lot of things."
(starts at 2:50)
One thing is for sure when it comes to having an impact on the league, there is no one at the same level as Jordan. He played a crucial role in popularizing the league all around the globe with his insane charisma and of course basketball ability.
Even after being retired for almost two decades, aspiring and even many current players in the NBA look up to Mike. Moreover, he has a great resume to support his case coupled with his killer mentality, there is hardly anyone who will argue of any other players being labeled as the GOAT.