ESPN's analyst Stephen A. Smith is the last person to express his opinion on who is the greatest player of all time, a debate that mostly involves Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Even though James is still chasing that GOAT status, not so many people are convinced he is the greatest player to ever do it in the association. As a matter of fact, Michael Jordan confirmed and reminded everybody he is the GOAT after his award-winning docu-series 'The Last Dance' saw the light.
Now Stephen A. has given his two pennies on this matter, explaining why he believes MJ's career and all the things he did on the court have more merit than LeBron James and the fact that he kept changing teams to win championships. During an appearance on The Breakfast Club, Smith specifically talked about LeBron's tenure in Miami, where he joined forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh (4:30 minute mark).
“I am not one of those guys overly critical of him. I just say he ain’t the GOAT. I put him on my personal Mount Rushmore of basketball and people call it hating. How can you have a guy be one of your top 2, top 3 greatest ever in any sport, let alone basketball and be called a hater for it?”
“He ain’t the GOAT. Michael Jordan is the GOAT, all day, every day. When you’re looking at the GOAT debate, it matters to me who you win against, and the road to prosperity that you took. And so when you were in the Eastern Conference and you had Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on your team for 4 years, I’m looking at it from that standpoint.”
SAS made it clear that he admires LeBron and he'll always be part of his Mount Rushmore, but that is very different to call him the best of the best, which he's not. You can say Michael Jordan also played with stars but he didn't join another team chasing a ring, the Chicago Bulls front office did a terrific job giving him the right pieces to succeed and MJ did. There are differences here and none of that can be changed now.