“He's too big, strong, and fast for any era"
The GOAT debate will live on forever because people want to believe they are right. MJ has been the unanimous greatest ever from peers and fans alike, but LeBron James has a real chance of taking the throne if he becomes the all-time leading scorer or wins another title or two in the coming years.
David West missed playing against MJ by a year. And because of years of battle with LeBron James, The King gets his vote as the GOAT.
"LeBron James is the GOAT. He has been too dominant for too long in the best era. He's so physical. We've never seen a guy who is so physically imposing that's not a big man. He's too big, strong, and fast for any era," West said.
That’s a compliment from West, who had his fair share of wins and losses against James. Comparing great players is always moot because of different eras, rules, and situations. Still, David got a point; one thing the Lakers star has over other great players is longevity.
LeBron’s GOAT case
Michael Jordan’s advantage was he played before the social media era. He could have been bigger if he played today, but that added to his myth. When it comes to winning and having that mentality, Mike had it all; he never lost in finals and won almost every individual and team award. But James’ case is different.
LeBron entered the league at a young age and has been dominating ever since. Going into his 20th NBA season, he’s still doing it at a high level. James rarely gets injured, which helped him break records. LBJ found the secret to success: consistency and longevity.
We could argue that there were many players more gifted than James in terms of skill set and scoring, but their careers were cut short due to injuries. Availability is the best ability, and if LeBron takes care of his body, he could play in his 40s and even team up with his sons.
Michael Jordan took breaks, and his fans claimed he could have won more and set his records even further. If he played in today’s NBA, would MJ be as successful as the 90s MJ? If James played in the 80s and 90s, could he have won fewer or more trophies? His tank-like body would have withstood a more physical era which was the point made by West.
So let’s have the GOAT discussion again should James break the all-time scoring record or add a title or two on his already loaded resume.