‘Not Even Close’ – Former Olympic Coach Picks Michael Jordan Over LeBron James as the GOAT

Published 05/03/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during the 1997 McDonald’s Championship. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)


Michael Jordan or LeBron James? This is an argument that can singlehandedly introduce chaos among people. For decades now, fans have been debating which one of the two is the greatest player of all time. Many argue for Michael, whereas the other are in favor of LeBron. The debate will perhaps never reach a conclusive end. Everyone will always have their own opinion on this, and a former coach of Michael Jordan has shared his.

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Bob Knight picks Michael Jordan as the GOAT

Former Olympic coach Bob Knight made his stance very clear. In an interview, Knight was asked about who he thought was the greatest player of all time. He noted that it was Michael Jordan, and there was no one who came near him. Jordan was in a league of his own, and nobody could do anything about it on his best day. Whether it was through smarts or strengths, Jordan was just better than everybody.

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Knight said, “The best guy to ever play the game is Michael Jordan, don’t even think about anybody else… Not even close. Because he was just better than anybody, he was smarter, he was tougher, he won more… Having Michael play on our Olympic team was great, and I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to work with him on a team.”

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Knight had the opportunity to coach Michael Jordan for a brief period of time. Knight was the head coach of the 1984 US Olympic basketball team, and he was able to lead Michael Jordan and the rest of Team USA to victory in Los Angeles. The Olympic stage was where the world got its first major glimpse of Michael Joran. He led Team USA in scoring as the team went 8-0 to win the gold medal in the Olympics.

MJ dominated the NBA upon arriving

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After the ’84 Olympics, Jordan entered the NBA as the third overall pick in the draft. He went to the Chicago Bulls, and immediately transformed the franchise. He became one of the best players in the league in just a few years and eventually led the Bulls to three championships. After retiring and then coming back again, the Bulls went on another dominant run led by Michael, winning three more consecutive championships.

Chicago Bulls # 23 Michael Jordan sitting next to Bill Cartwright on the bench during the Chicago Bulls vs New York Knicks game on May 14 , 1993 at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Tom Berg/WireImage)
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Who is the greatest of all time? Fans who got to witness Michael Jordan during his prime rarely stray away from picking him as the greatest. However, people who have grown up witnessing the incredible play of LeBron James are partial to him as the GOAT. This debate will probably never find an end, but these two players have revolutionized the game of basketball in their own way.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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