With the Lakers being a non-factor last season we were given a brief respite from the endless GOAT debate that so often consumes the NBA dialogue when LeBron James’ teams are in the title hunt.
However, while that’s not the case for the Lakers currently, LeBron James staring down the all-time NBA scoring record this season has rekindled the discussion as James stands to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the top spot at some point later this season, health pending. Adding the all-time scoring mark would certainly put another impressive bullet point on LeBron’s resume, but it is an accomplishment that figures to only divide those who are so entrenched on both sides of the debate.
As LeBron’s career progresses into his 20th season, the biggest separator in the LeBron vs. Jordan argument is how important longevity is to you. That’s at the crux of Draymond Green’s argument in favor of LeBron, as he explained on his “Throwing Bones” show in great detail, stumping for James as the best player of all-time by noting how he managed to hold the title of best player in the league for 15 years, all while the NBA went through some massive changes.
Green’s full top 5 is fascinating on its own, as he clearly leans hard on his take that the current era is the best and, therefore, the best players come from it, with LeBron, Jordan, Kobe, Steph, and Shaq as his list.It’s an interesting argument and it’s not one that I’m particularly surprised to see a current player making. Citing the overall talent quality in the league as well as how James has been adaptable to varied play styles and been dominant no matter the fads that have swept through the league in terms of roster construction makes a compelling case.
It’s not one, though, that’s likely to sway Jordan fans, as part of the argument for Jordan is that his prime years were so unassailably dominant that it doesn’t matter if his career didn’t extend as long. On top of that, you wouldn’t have to look far to find folks who would quickly argue against Green’s assertion that James was the league’s best player starting in 2005.
Still, it’s something Green has clearly thought about considerably, and he makes plenty of good points that LeBron supporters can make a mental note of next time they want to start an argument at the bar.