LeBron? MJ? Kobe? Everyone will have their own opinion on who is the greatest player of all time but is there any way that you can really pick one. According to one of the greatest players himself, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says that you can’t.
A Hall of Fame Centre, Kareem is known as one of the best players in the history of the game and is definitely someone who fits in the conversation of the GOAT. Kareem told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that it’s impossible to have a GOAT because basketball eras are so different and it’s too hard to compare positions.
“These GOAT discussions are fun distractions while sitting around waiting for the pizza to be served,” Abdul-Jabbar told The Undefeated. “But they’re on a par with ‘Which superpower would you want most: flight or invisibility?’ Whether I’m included or not in anyone’s list doesn’t matter. I played my hardest and I helped my teammates. That’s the most important thing I walked away with.
"The reason there is no such thing as the GOAT is because every player plays under unique circumstances. We played different positions, under different rules, with different teammates, with different coaches… This isn’t Highlander. There can be more than one.”
Abdul-Jabbar retired in 1989 after winning a total of six NBA Championships, six NBA MVP’s and 19 All-Star appearances which shows just how talented of a player he was in his prime.
Both Michael Jordan and LeBron James have entered the game after Kareem and have left incredible legacies. The two names are the most common ones that are brought up when the topic of the GOAT comes up.
It’s hard to know how the two champions would have gone have head to head in the same era, unfortunately we’ll never know. We’ll never have a definite answer to ‘Who is the Greatest of All Time’, but it’s always going to be a hot topic.