LeBron James has just won his fourth NBA title, the first one with the Los Angeles Lakers, becoming the first player to win one championship with three different teams. The GOAT debate has been around the league for quite some time now and after Bron won his fourth ring, the comparisons between him and Jordan didn’t take too long.
Some people can argue LeBron caught up with Jordan but not everybody is sold on that idea. As a matter of fact, legendary Bulls writer and author of "The Jordan Rules,” Sam Smith, has opened up about why he won’t ever put LeBron James ahead of Jordan on the all-time list.
In fact, Smith believes nobody can be ahead of Jordan given all the cultural impact he had during his best days. Speaking on the latest Bulls Talk Podcast, Smith said:
“What separates Jordan and a few others — Babe Ruth, (Muhammed) Ali — is, to me, is the impact on society that Michael had, Michael truly had in clothing, in looks, people just wanting to see it," Smith said. "As great as LeBron is, people don’t turn on to just ‘I’ve got to see what LeBron’s gonna do next.’
"And there’s been no basketball figure that — I’ve been watching since Wilt and Russell and saw those guys play and Oscar — and there’s not figure in basketball in this 70 years or whatever that I can point to and said has had a bigger impact on society and the world and the game than Michael Jordan."
This is not the first time Smith makes these comments. Back in July, the writer talked about the Jordan shoes and how they changed the world, something that no other players have done.
“I’ve never seen anybody skipping down in the commercials, saying, ‘Be like LeBron.’ Obviously, it was commercial and marketing and all, but Jordan changed so much in the world and society—the long shorts, the shaved head, and, obviously, the sneakers,” Smith said a couple of months ago.
“The sneakers were a revolution. Nobody thought that sneakers would be a fashion statement back in the early nineteen-eighties. Nobody thought it mattered if you put a player’s name on a sneaker. I remember friends of mine would be in Russia, and they sent me home these nesting dolls—the Bulls with Jordan and Pippen—things you would never see anywhere else. And you don’t see that with LeBron. LeBron’s a big figure and a great player, and he has an influence in society, but it didn’t change anything. Nobody has changed anything because of LeBron James.”
Jordan’s name transcended the game of basketball. He is indeed an icon but it’s not like the difference between him and LeBron is that big. Bron is one of the most famous people in the world, almost at the same level as His Airness.