Any NBA player who possesses superstar talent (With the exception of Big Men) will inevitably be compared to one Michael Jordan. From Grant Hill, Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter all the way to LeBron James; it never fails to hear the G.O.A.T.’s name brought up in conversation. A 6-0 record in the NBA Finals along with 6 Finals MVPs will do that for you. Apart from his playoff exploits, Jordan’s sheer regular season performances put him in rare “Air”.
In my opinion, Jordan is Bar None the Greatest of All Time. However, in maintaining his legendary status, we cannot shoot down the accomplishments of those who’ve come close to reaching his heights.
I’ve heard the arguments time and time again, Jordan is 6/6 in the Finals with 6 MVPs. He never played in a game 7, etc. All facts, But Michael Jordan played in 5 Game 6’s. His legendary ‘96 Bulls team also blew a 3-0 series lead against a Sonics team they were supposed to sweep (won in 6 games). When it comes to Michael Jordan, his teams NEVER faced teams quite as stellar as this current Golden State Warriors team, or the 2014 San Antonio Spurs team LeBron’s Miami Heat dynasty succumbed to. Kobe won with Shaq and then got his rings without him. LeBron won rings with 2 different teams, and just put together one of the best Finals performances of All Time. We’ll never see a basketball phenomenon quite like Michael Jeffrey Jordan, TRUTH… However, we cannot undervalue the careers of Kobe Bean Bryant and LeBron Raymone James. In my opinion, these three aforementioned names are 1,2, and 3 on the All-Time Pantheon of NBA Greats. You cannot go wrong with any of them, as they’ve won multiple titles their own way.
Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will forever be linked because of how they defined their respective eras. Jordan may reign supreme as the G.O.A.T. but Kobe and LeBron have a seat at that roundtable. I hate how as fans we’re forced to pick sides. (You can’t be a Jordan fan and like Kobe or LeBron). Seldom can we appreciate one without downplaying another. Analytics, some say, were created for pundits who’s truly don’t know how to see the game with their eyes. I’m a key proponent of the eye test. Jordan was the ultimate competitor, and Kobe as we saw for 2o years, was in the same realm. LeBron is arguably the most versatile player the game has ever seen, his playmaking and basketball IQ are second to none. Kobe is the best shooter of the 3. Bottom line, when breaking down their respective games, each guy has certain strengths that the others don’t.
For starters, LeBron has spent more than half of his career playing deep into June (7 out of 13 years to be exact, AND COUNTING). Jordan’s finals record was perfect. Kobe scored 81. Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T. I can’t stress that enough… We oftentimes get carried away in the fact that Jordan was GREAT and dismiss the careers of others who absolutely deserve to be in that conversation. Jordan had flaws in his game, as do every other great, but his greatness derived from his overcoming of those flaws. Kobe had the perfect blueprint to follow and it was eerily scary how much he resembled Mike. LeBron in my opinion will have the most accomplished career from start to finish. Coming out of High School, carrying a Loser on his back and turning that franchise into a Champion… LeBron’s Cleveland career alone is legendary. All in All, Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T. but Kobe and LeBron can easily fit that crown as well.