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The G.O.A.T. Argument
Basketball
Ian Nokon
April 18, 2020
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I was arguing with a friend earlier today about sports and he made a comment that the G.O.A.T. argument is just opinion based. I, like the majority of sports fans, think that Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T. QB in the NFL. I also think that Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T. when it comes to the NBA. He said that he doesn’t believe that anyone is the G.O.A.T. of anything. He said that he might believe that Joe Montana is the greatest QB of all time. He said that an argument can even be made for Kobe or even LeBron to be considered the G.O.A.T. along with Michael Jordan. Ladies and gentlemen, my mind was officially blown 🀯

I told him that I had to disagree with his comment about being able to make a case for Kobe or even LeBron as the G.O.AT. You can make an argument about Bill Russell being the GOAT with 11 rings. But you can’t make an argument that LeBron with only 3 rings and 6 losses, who is playing in an era where hand-checking isn’t allowed, is better than MJ with 6 rings – who earned his rings in one of the toughest eras of the sport. I was fortunate enough to watch MJ play in his prime and LeBron is no MJ. Not even close! Kobe is the closest to MJ that we have ever seen and probably will ever see.

Before the LeBron Stans start losing their minds, I think that LeBron is a great player, but you can’t put him in the conversation with MJ. In the words of Rob Parker – No Way, No How! LeBron has been promoted by the media to become the face of the NBA, but no one who is knowledgeable about sports should be drinking that Kool-Aid and calling him the G.OA.T. That is unless you are in the media trying to get eyes and comments on your show…ESPN πŸ‘€

MJ played in an era where players were much more physical and literally tried to hurt him every time he went to the hoop. LeBron and other players today cry over little ticky tack fouls. In today’s NBA, if you even look at a player wrong, you can get ejected from a game. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I saw a game where San Antonio Spurs DeMar DeRozan had a vicious dunk on Chris Boucher of the Toronto Raptors, and just barely glanced at him afterwards, and the refs T’d him up. 🀯 It was a glance that barely lasted a second. I have also seen LeBron James dunk on multiple players and stare them down for what some would consider a lifetime and the refs pretended not to see anything πŸ§‘β€πŸ¦―

Kobe has 5 rings! I remember one All-Star game when Kobe terrorized LeBron. He blocked LeBron on a play and then dared him to shoot the ball on another play and LeBron didn’t seem to know what to do. The fans were cheering and trying to get LeBron to (in the words of the late Prince as parodied by Dave Chappelle) “shoot the J” and LeBron predictably passed it off, much to everyone’s disappointment. I even saw LeBron calling Kobe the best player in the league around the same time when some in the media were hyping Lebron as the best. Kobe is an unbelievable player and I think that he’s the closest to MJ that we’ll probably ever see, but I wouldn’t make an argument that Kobe is better than MJ.

While I do agree with my friend’s comment that people can disagree about who the G.O.A.T. is, you just can’t put a guy who won 3 finals and lost 6 in the same conversation as someone who won 6 championships! In what universe can you make an argument that 3 rings is greater than 6? Especially when those 6 rings were earned in an era where the game was much more difficult? Even if you say that LeBron has better stats than MJ in multiple categories, LeBron has dominated the ball on every team he’s ever played on. That allows him to pad his stats more easily. And if you want to go on stats alone, Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double for 3 years. Why isn’t anyone calling Westbrook the G.O.A.T.?Β 

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