Michael Eric Dyson sat down with Shannon Sharpe to discuss how being a globally recognized athlete intertwines with using that platform and speaking up on political and social issues. Both of them came up with the same conclusion; athletes who are going out of their way, doing stuff they weren't signed up for, voicing their opinions on things that actually matter, should all be commended for their efforts. But to what extent?
One is derived from another, but one can't magnify the other. That's where Michael lost me. He's letting the political and social stuff intervene with the assessment of one's greatness as a basketball player, and that's the premise he's basing his GOAT argument on. So if he has to choose between Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron, he's going with the latter, and the biggest factor in Dyson's GOAT equation is the social conscience.
If you're gonna put it all together, LeBron's the GOAT. It ain't even no comparison for what that man has done, and so the comparison to anybody when standing up against him is feeble.
Michael Eric Dyson, Club Shay Shay
Michael continued to build the basketball case for LeBron as the greatest ever, but the basis of his argument is what James has been doing as a social activist. So he's declaring LeBron the GOAT based on all the things he's done outside of NBA hardwoods and that's where the two things have to be separated.
You can appreciate LeBron for the I Promise School he had opened. You can respect what he's doing for the black community. You can appreciate his involvement with political issues and raising awareness of the importance of voting. But how exactly does that enhance his legacy as a basketball player?
And when I say a basketball player, that's exactly what I mean. I mean, he's not in the running for Nobel Prize. This should only be about the game of basketball and what LeBron, and whoever you want to put in the GOAT conversation with him, have been able to do as NBA players. Not as politicians. Not as social activists. Not as philanthropists.
So if you want to make a case for LeBron over Jordan, Kobe, Wilt, Kareem, or whoever, go ahead and make your case. But base it on the game, the whole game, and nothing but the game. Everything else shouldn't matter.