Who is the GOAT?

A closer look at the best two players in NBA history.



MJ and LeBron

With the recent breaking of the all-time NBA scoring record by LeBron James, many people are again wondering who is greatest player of all time?

It is logical for most people to compare Michael Jordan to LeBron because they are the players that stand out on top in the NBA realm. However, we can’t forget about some of the other players near the top of the all-time list like Kobe, Kareem, Shaq, and Magic Johnson. With that being said, I am going to take a closer look at the argument of MJ vs LeBron and see what Elder students have to say about this point of contention.

Before we look at students opinion on this debate, let’s take a closer look at the careers of these incredible players. First, Michael Jordan played in the NBA for 15 seasons and won six championships with the Chicago Bulls. Michael was drafted in 1984 to the Bulls and his career ended in 2003 with the Washington Wizards.

Michael Jordan focusing. Photo from insider.com

Along the way, Jordan was able to put up some incredible stats that make him one of the best to ever play the game. Some of these accomplishments include the following: six time NBA champion, six time finals MVP, five time NBA MVP, Rookie of the year, ten time NBA first team, nine time NBA defensive first team, Defensive player of the year, fourteen time NBA all star, and three time NBA all star MVP. The list goes on with Jordan’s great accomplishments, but some may question if LeBron has given him a run for his money.

LeBron with MVP trophies from 2013. Copyright 201 NBAE.

Now let’s examine some of LeBron James’ incredible achievements while in the NBA and see how they compare to what Jordan was able to do. LeBron of course just broke the all time scoring record surpassing Kareem. Now that King James holds this record, many people have switched from Jordan to LeBron in their GOAT debate. Besides that record LeBron has accomplished so much more to put him in the conversation for the greatest of all time. To start, Lebron was drafted in 2003 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Later, in 2010 LeBron left Cleveland to play for the Miami Heat. Soon after he returned back to Cleveland before heading out to LA to play for the Lakers where he is currently. Throughout LeBron’s career he has managed to win four championships, four MVP’s, four finials MVP’s, and is a nineteen time NBA all star. However, LeBron is not done yet, as he has hopes of playing one year on the court with his son Bronny James. Its clear to see that what these players have done in their careers is incredible and they are two of the best to ever step on the court. Now let’s take a look at what some Elder students have to say about this ongoing debate.

First, junior Connor Holiday is a strong believer that LeBron James is the GOAT of the NBA. He said that Jordan would not do well in today’s NBA. He continued by saying, ” Lebron consistently carried his team year after year with little to no help, while Jordan was surrounded with a great team.” Conner finished off by saying even though LeBron has less rings than MJ, you can’t rate a player’s worth on championships alone. It’s very clear to see that Conner is a true supporter of LeBron over MJ.

Next, junior Justin Watson has some strong words about Michael Jordan and his NBA career. Justin said, most people consider Tom Brady as the greatest of all time because of his rings, so why is it different for MJ? Justin continued by saying, ” Jordan was also a defensive guru unlike LeBron.” Justin kept it short and sweet and made it very clear that he is taking MJ all day over LeBron.

In my opinion, I think these players are hard to compare because of the different eras in which they played. I strongly believe they are one and two on the list for greatest of all time, but to put one over another is hard for me to do.

from left to right: Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, Ron Harper and Tony Kukoc

The common theme seen with this debate is that older people who watched MJ play believe that he is the best, and the younger generation who grew up watching LeBron think that he is the best of all time. This argument will continue to live on in NBA realm forever. As viewers all we can do is sit back and watch to see if any of the new and young talent will ever be comparable to the GOATS.