For the past ten-plus years, the debate between who is the G.O.A.T between Michael Jordan and LeBron James have been making headlines with former teammates for both individuals having to pick sides. While LeBron James dubbed himself the G.O.A.T on More Than an Athlete, however, Michael Jordan has never said he was the G.O.A.T.
“That one right there made me the greatest player of all time. That’s how I felt, I was super ecstatic to win one for Cleveland because of the 52 year drought. I was super ecstatic and the first wave of emotion was when everyone saw me crying. That was for all 52 years sports going on in Cleveland and I stop to think, I said that made you the greatest player of all time,” said LeBron James.
James was clearly referencing the 2016 come back down, three to one against the Warriors.
After James said that Danny Ainge was interviewed by 98.5’s “Toucher & Rich and said James was taking the “Donald Trump approach.”
“His career’s not over,” Ainge told 98.5’s “Toucher & Rich” on Thursday. “I’d just like to … why he’s saying that, I don’t know. Maybe he thinks that that sells. Maybe he’s taking the Donald Trump approach and trying to sell himself. I don’t know.
“Obviously LeBron is in every conversation with who is the greatest player of all-time. But time will tell. I don’t know if anyone knows who the greatest of all-time is, because the years are so different.”
In an interview in 2019 film director, Spike Lee shared that Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T.
“There’s only one G.O.A.T,” says Lee.
“I got love for LeBron [James], but the one G.O.A.T and also one record, Mike has never said he is the greatest. He’s never said that. The only person who has said it and deserved it was [Muhammad] Ali. He said, I am the greatest.”
Lee added, “I’m not saying that Michael doesn’t deserve it, he’s never said it before. He’s never said I’m the greatest.”
Then a fan said that LeBron James was the greatest and Lee proceed to ask the young fan his age.
“These young heads don’t know what they are talking about.”
Last year, Dennis Rodman was a guest on First Take and was asked how does James compare to Jordan?
“If you look at Michael over the years, the body of work that he’s done and look at LeBron’s body of work going on year 18. Michael [Jordan] is the greatest player ever and Mike has been injured one time. He never asked to sit out, he never asked for anything, only respect, said Rodman.”
Meanwhile, USA Today’s Sports’ Dan Wolken believes James is the G.O.A.T and a better player than Jordan.
“So, I was one of the five that put LeBron [James] number one,, and it was a difficult conversation that I had with myself, but It just comes down to the fact that I think LeBron James is just better at basketball. Certainly I grew up on Michael Jordan and I live through that whole era,” said Wolken.
“So, I saw all the game and have a great appreciation for him, but I think LeBron [James] is just better at basketball period.”
Jordan is a fan of James, but he feels they played in two different eras.
“We play in different eras,” Jordan said. “He’s an unbelievable player. He’s one of the best players in the world, if not the best player in the world. I know it’s a natural tendency to compare eras to eras. It’s going to continue to happen.
“I’m a fan of his. I love watching him play. But as you can see, our league is starting to expand on very talented players. I think he’s made his mark. He will continue to do so over a period of time. But when you start the comparisons, I think it is what it is. It’s just a standup measurement. I take it with a grain of salt. He’s a heck of a basketball player, without a doubt.”