Despite Idolizing Michael Jordan Growing Up, NBA’s 2nd Biggest Agent Sides With LeBron James in GOAT Debate

Published 09/05/2023, 12:02 AM EDT

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The debate over the Greatest of All Time in basketball history continues to rage. The discussion has enshrined numerous legendary figures on its list, but at its core, it boils down to just two names: LeBron James and Michael Jordan. Nearly everyone has made their choice, from die-hard fans to NBA athletes. Furthermore, occasionally, someone comes up with a uniquely distinct reason to solidify their statement.

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Some laud Mike for his offensive prowess and extraordinary record in the finals; others praise LeBron for his enduring career and versatile skills. A similar question was asked to one of the NBA’s biggest agents recently. In turn, his response was something his fans might have predicted.

Rich Paul puts LeBron James ahead of Michael Jordan

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In a recent episode of the Gil’s Arena podcast, Rich Paul probed into the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) debate. Comparing Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James, he provided his personal perspective. Paul’s insights shed light on what sets LeBron James apart from Bryant and Jordan, both on and off the court.

Highlighting a common trait in Jordan and Kobe, Paul emphasizes their tendency to be closed off, keeping their personal lives and emotions guarded. In contrast, he describes LeBron James as “all-inclusive.” Additionally, Paul pointed out that James often faces criticism because of his approachable and relatable persona.

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Paul has enjoyed a ringside view of the greatness embodied by several generations of NBA legends. Through his business transactions and engagements with iconic figures, he gained unmatched insight into the NBA. Besides being a long-term friend, Rich Paul is LeBron’s agent and a trusted advisor.

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Paul denies Stephen A. Smith’s take of James being a #2 all-time

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith is known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve. During his recent appearance on the Podcast P with Paul George, he doubled down on his preference for Jordan over LBJ. In the podcast, he passionately defended his stance while expressing apprehension regarding Paul’s counterarguments. Smith claimed he told Paul to “get the f— out of my face” after the agent suggested that ranking Jordan above James was “disrespectful.”

When the Gil’s Arena crew inquired about Smith’s comments during the podcast, Paul immediately responded with a dismissive “Cap.” Paul swiftly responded, saying, “Anybody in the world who know me, he’s not going to say that to me. You can say ‘get out of here,’ but let’s just add context for the viewers.”

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It’s worth noting that the exchange between Paul and Smith is all in good fun, characterized by friendly banter. In their remarks, they have referred to each other as their “boy.”

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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Saahil Dhillan is an NBA Writer at Essentially Sports. He has been writing articles and blogs for 5 years now, including those for a sports brand that manufactures knee braces, for a Red Bull athlete in 2019 and for a documentary of an Ultra Running Coach in 2021. There’s plenty Saahil can write about why he likes basketball, having followed the NBA for more than 10 years, but he is most keen on picking out various offense/defense strategies, on/off-court decisions, roster changes in crunch time and other underrated key elements that leave an impact on the scoreboard.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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