LeBron is “LeGOAT”

It’s common amongst sports fans to crown your own “G.O.A.T” (Greatest Of All Time) for each sport, however men’s basketball’s GOAT must be one of the most debated takes in not only sports but pop culture.  

 The most logical debate is crowning Michael Jordan versus LeBron James. A contributing conversation I like to turn to is the 1A and 1B compromise, but that isn’t enough to satisfy most sports fans as the question still stands of who it truly is if there is a tie. Both players have revolutionized not only the game of basketball but the sports scene as we know it. Both players are easily modern day pioneers for transcending the game into a global phenomenon for spectators all over the world.  

 One thing, and one thing only, is undisputed for this conversation, and that’s crediting both players for what they have done on the court.  

 Most people crown their GOAT based on their opinion and background. Almost anyone over the age of 30-35 normally leans to Jordan as they grew up during his reign to the top of his game. Meanwhile most young adults lean toward James as he was the face of basketball while we were growing up.  

 In my opinion, James is the GOAT. 

 In high school, Jordan was promoted to his varsity team his junior year where he averaged 24.8 ppg year, and 26.4 ppg senior year with a career high of 39. Jordan made the McDonald’s All-American Game, and was recruited to the University of North Carolina.  

 As a freshman in high school, James averaged 21 points a game, and finished 27-0 with a state title. It wasn’t much after this when he earned a second state title, voted Ohio’s Mr. Basketball, and made the ALL-USA First Team at 16 years old. He finished his school career as the greatest high school recruit of all time, winning Gatorade National Player of the Year, being on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and getting drafted first overall to the National Basketball Association out of high school.  

 Clearly you see both players were dominant, but the only valid arguments to really defend MJ’s case at 1A is championships. Jordan went 6 for 6 making two different 3-peaters, one of the greatest feats in all of sports. But in James’ defense, his competition in the championships were far more challenging than MJ had to face.  

 In a nine-year stretch, James made the championship every year. Facing a historically great Warriors squad four times, he managed to beat them at their best with a 73-9 record and a 3-1 game lead.  

 At 23 years old, James played in his first championship, where he lost to the Spurs, but was yet to have a teammate score over 20 points the whole series. Meanwhile Jordan was 27 in his first championship where he had nearly three teammates pushing 20 points a game in the series to defeat the Magic Johnson Lakers.  

 James would see the Spurs two more times in the finals splitting 1-1, this time with an arguably better roster including Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Meanwhile in Jordan’s other five titles, his notable competition consisted of Clyde Drexler, Gary Payton, John Stockton (2x), Karl Malone (2x) and Charles Barkley. Now in comparison, James’s notable finals competitors include Steph Curry (4x), Klay Thompson (4x), Kevin Durant (3x), James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green and Dirk Nowitzki. 

 If you compare their rosters, James has faced historically great opponents, with more complete rosters in modern-day basketball with scoring dominance. In these championships, he had substantially less teammate help in at least two of those series than Jordan who had Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.  

 Now after hearing my argument, I hope you can understand why James stands as the undisputed GOAT. If you don’t agree, I suggest you should read this over again.