Lakers Legend Michael Cooper Has Neither LeBron James nor Michael Jordan as the NBA GOAT

Published 12/27/2020, 1:36 PM EST
Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) poses with 2020 NBA Champion ring before a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA GOAT debate is an ever-going discussion, with 2 names always popping up, LeBron James and Michael Jordan. While for many, MJ is the GOAT, LeBron has also made a lot of progress in his case for being the GOAT.

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Furthermore, winning the 4th ring of his illustrious career only strengthened his case. But it feels like he might be a few steps behind Jordan.

Michael Cooper on why LeBron James is the GOAT for now

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Lakers legend Michael Cooper recently joined the Lakers daily for an interview. During the conversation, he was asked his thoughts on the GOAT debate and to make his choice. Cooper said:

“That is such a loose term for great players: the GOAT. Because you have to realize that everybody played in their own decade and era. If we could go back and had this ability to make everybody 23 or 24 at the same time, then we could say that.

Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after receiving 2020 NBA Championship ring before a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“What’s happening in the NBA now? LeBron is probably the greatest player to ever play the game. Put him back in the ’80s with Magic, Michael Jordan, George Gervin, Kareem — he would probably be in the mix with all of them, so the GOAT for right now is definitely LeBron, but try to put all those guys in a lump and pull out one.

“You are going to get a different answer from 10 different people.”

Despite labeling LeBron as the GOAT right now, he also mentioned that the only greatest player of all-time for him is his rival from back in the day, Larry Bird.

And it’s hard to ask me. To me, Larry Bird would be considered a GOAT. That guy there was probably the hardest guy I’ve ever had to guard, and I played in an era where it was a tough matchup every night.”

Is there a true NBA GOAT?

Ever since LBJ entered the league, he has been held to unreal standards. But for the most part, he has delivered on those expectations. He has won championships, regular-season MVPs, and Finals MVPs as well.

Honestly, he has achieved everything an NBA player can ever dream of. But maybe becoming the true GOAT will never turn into a reality. Not just for James, but for any player in the history of the league.

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Because every fan has a different definition for the best player according to them. One can’t force a player onto them as a result, we might never find a definitive answer to the question.

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But who is the greatest basketball player of all-time? Is it LeBron James, Michael Jordan, or any other player? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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Aikansh Chaudhary

771 articles

Aikansh Chaudhary is an NBA columnist for Essentially Sports. Previously, he helped rank various websites using the latest SEO techniques, and wrote over 2000 articles during his stint as a freelance writer. A die hard Lakers fan, Aikansh will forever uphold LeBron James as the GOAT.

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