The ‘Greatest of All Time’ debate in basketball will never reach a conclusion. People will continue to debate about Michael Jordan and LeBron James for a long time. At least, until some player emerges in the NBA and usurps them both in terms of play and legacy.
The fanatics of Jordan argue that MJ popularized basketball all over the world. The way he played in his time made him an icon, not just a sporting figure. His iconography has become a billion-dollar brand. Whereas, on the court, Jordan won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls in eight years and had two three-peats. He won five MVP titles, a defensive player of the year award, and six Finals MVP. Jordan never lost in an NBA Finals, and never went to a game seven in an NBA Finals series.
For the fans of LeBron James, the argument is harder to make. James went to the Miami Heat in 2010 to form a super team with his friends Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Even when he finally got the help he wanted, he collapsed in the 2011 NBA Finals. But he then went back-to-back with the Heat.
The biggest point that James’ fans make is the 2016 NBA Championship, where James led his Cavaliers team back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. This had never been done in the history of the NBA Finals and hasn’t been done since.
For James’ supporters, the fact that he is the only player to win four Finals MVP with three different franchises, playing against some of the greatest teams ever made, is the defining factor for James. Aside from this, James is a four-time NBA MVP and a 13-time NBA All-Star.
Dwyane Wade, a former teammate of James, has suggested that the GOAT debate is overshadowing James’s present greatness. He said that people should appreciate how unique James’s talent is and not debate.
“When we talk about the GOAT conversations, it doesn’t matter who is the GOAT. He (James) is one-of-one, we will never see another him, we will never see another him, we will never see another Jordan, we will never see another Kareem. No one will ever win 11 championships like Bill Russell. Or I think. Maybe one day somebody will win 12.”
James is coming off a legacy-defining title run that ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Championship, and a fourth Finals MVP for him.
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