The greatest of all-time in the NBA debate is one fan and commentators alike have on an almost regular basis. ESPN First Take considered whether if LeBron winning a 5th NBA Championship would put him past Michael Jordan in the GOAT conversation (3:48 in the video below).
Stephen A Smith said some choice words in response to Kendrick Perkins claiming that another NBA Championship would put LeBron “at the same table” as Michael Jordan. The ESPN analyst passionately stated that regardless of whether LeBron won another ring, he would still consider Michael Jordan as the greatest to ever play the game.
“There’s nothing that’s going to change my mind. To me, Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time."
Stephen A. cited some specifics in his explanation of MJ over James:
“I am thinking about the scoring titles of Michael Jordan, the NBA Championships of Michael Jordan, the killer instinct that was Michael Jordan."
Stephen A Smith did give LeBron credit, saying he is on the “Mount Rushmore” of NBA greats, maybe even the top two but that he would still pick his Airness. Stephen A continued to give LeBron credit, stating that he understands his shortcomings in his multiple NBA Finals appearances.
“When I look at LeBron, it’s no disrespect from my side. I think he is the greatest player in the game today, and I think he is the greatest in the history of basketball outside of Michael Jordan.”
As Perkins did make a good point earlier in the segment (3:25), at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. Stephen A. did acknowledge that this is just his personal bias and did make multiple attempts to express his opinion without tearing down LeBron.