For the 1000th time, are you ready to settle the debate of all debates? Who is the GOAT, LeBron James or Micheal Jordan?
A popular definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Over the course of a decade, sports media members on television shows, podcasts, and online publications dedicate a portion of the offseason to one question – who’s the GOAT, LeBron or Jordan?
In typical debate fashion, one side argues for Jordan. Jordan has six championships and six Finals’ MVPs. Jordan won those championships with two three-peats in 8 years and in the two years in-between, he was playing baseball.* The other side argues for LeBron, who going into this season, had three championships and three Finals’ MVPs. Although most people claim they hate watching this debate, the Internet loves controversy and getting #madonline so the Jordan v. LeBron debate is an easy way to go viral if you have an outlandish take.
Although I fear for my life, I have to mention that Jordan returned towards the end of the 1994-1995 NBA season, which resulted in a second-round loss to the Orlando Magic. If I don’t write an article next week, then you can assume angry Jordan fans kidnapped me for mentioning the 1995 playoffs.
After the Lakers won the championship inside the NBA Bubble, the debate has more heat than Hulk Hogan joining the NWO. LeBron became the only player in NBA history to win three championships and three Finals MVPs with three different franchises.
We know Stephen A. Smith will defend Michael Jordan to the end of time and we know Nick Wright will continue to back LeBron James for as long as he lives. Stephen A and Nick Wright are good representatives for each side of the debate. The strength of the Jordan argument lies with his career peak, the three-peat, 90s dominance, and the phrase, “six for six.” On the other hand, the strength of LeBron’s argument lies with his statistics, playoff success, NBA Finals appearances, and three championships with three different franchises.
LeBron continues to strengthen his case, which is a rallying cry LeBron’s troops to attack Jordan fans. If LeBron loses in the playoffs next year, Jordan’s army of stans will infiltrate Twitter with MJ propaganda, and “LeBron can never be the GOAT” tweets. Consequently, Jordan’s two seprate three peats is something LeBron will never do, which quiets parts of LeBron’s case.
At this point in time, if neither side will give an inch, what’s the point of the debate? If both sides remain show steadfast loyalty to LeBron or MJ, why bother? Is the GOAT debate Einstein’s definition of insanity?
We’re asking the wrong questions. We shouldn’t be asking about the identity of GOAT. We should should be asking if the argument is capable of change. Can LeBron do something to either weaken or strengthen his claim as the GOAT?
The first part of that coin is easy. If LeBron loses at any point in the playoffs, Jordan backers will be the first to point this out. Somehow, losing in the second round is better than losing in the finals, which is the most egregious talking point in the entire debate.
The other side of the coin is trickier and clouded with uncertainty. Let’s throw stats like points, rebounds, and assists out the window. The media has taught us the importance of rings so what matters are championships. Jordan has six to Lebron’s four. If LeBron were to win seven rings and win seven Finals MVPs, would that be enough to push him over the top? If LeBron ties Jordan with six rings, what’s the tiebreaker? If LeBron wins one or even zero rings throughout the rest of his career, can he still reach GOAT status?
As an Internet user, it’s been drilled in my head that that rings matter so if LeBron wins seven rings, he’s the GOAT. For now, I’m going to wait until LeBron’s career ends to make my decision. Am I taking the easy way out? Possibly, but until either side proves they can give an inch, the debate will remain a never-ending circle of insanity.
Who’s the GOAT, LeBron or Jordan? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.
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