LeBron James Michael Jordan, who is the goat; Who is the goat of basketball?

Those who favor Jordan, who embodied greatness on the court, are quick to point out that he hit a perfect 6-0 in the NBA Finals and led the Chicago Bulls to two trebles in the 1990s. James has four titles in 10 trips to the NBA Finals.

Two months ago, the NBA even renamed its Most Valuable Player award after Jordan, who won the trophy awarded to regular-season MVP five times during his career in the Hall of Fame. James has been named MVP four times.

LeBron James celebrates after claiming the record.

LeBron James celebrates after claiming the record.Credit:AP

Perhaps the most compelling argument for James, who may be the most tested player the NBA has ever seen, is that he’s managed to dominate so many different aspects of the game over the years.

At 38, James continues to raise the bar when it comes to what pundits say is possible for an elder statesman in a league where the median age was 26 at the start of the 2022-23 season.

When it comes to longevity, James has a clear advantage and the cushion he holds over Jordan in terms of total career points, assists and rebounds is only growing as he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

“It’s great that he can still play like that in year 20. His athleticism is incredible and I’m happy for him,” said Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks great player, in December. “I always say Michael Jordan is the GOAT. But…I’m kind of running out of arguments for Michael.”


Former NBA coach George Karl, whose teams have faced off against both Jordan and James, also weighed in on the GOAT debate last month. Karl suggested that Jordan would have been even more dominant in today’s game amid a league-wide trend in favor of offense.

“What is not clear to anyone debating Michael’s GOAT status is that in the modern game he would have a triple-double averaging 40 PPG!” Karl, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year, wrote on Twitter.

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Ryan Sederquist

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