It is not an unknown fact that sports media’s veteran personality Skip Bayless never shies away from proclaiming Michael Jordan as the G.O.A.T. over LeBron James. So, when the 38-year-old star was ruled out of LA Lakers’ latest contest against No. 1 seed, Denver Nuggets on Monday Night, Bayless got another opportunity to call out the 4-time NBA Champion citing his load management strategy.
Longevity is LeBron James’ most prized ammunition in the GOAT debate, and Skip Bayless highlighted just the same for all the wrong reasons as he emphasized how ‘His GOAT,’ Michael Jordan contested in over 80 games even when he hit the NBA court during his later years with the Washington Wizards
Why was LeBron James benched against Denver Nuggets?
Being in his 20th year in the NBA, LeBron is unarguably the most elite asset for the Los Angeles Lakers. The 38-year-old has played a pivotal role in turning the future around for the 17-time NBA Championship-winning franchise in the season, so it is valid to follow a load management approach with James in mind.
There is no hesitation in stating that the 38-year-old Power Forward also needs some downtime as he is averaging more than 35 minutes per game on the court. Moreover, the Lakers need him to be at 100% fitness in the eternity of the second half of the season if they want to keep their playoff aspirations alive.
The reigning Player of the week, who has averaged 35 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 7.7 assists in his last three games, was ruled out against Denver Nuggets due to left knee soreness. Given the importance of James, the Purple and Gold side was in no mood to risk their chances of losing another star.
Comparing Michael Jordan's and LeBron James’ numbers at the age of 38
Michael Jordan returned to the NBA after a 3-year retirement hiatus in the 2001-02 season at the age of 38. While His Airness’ durability was never in doubt, he managed to feature in 60 games for his Washington Wizards. While he was way past his best form, Jordan managed to average 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game at an efficiency rate of 41.6% from the field and 18.9% from behind the arc.
On the other hand, LeBron has been aging like fine wine at the age of 38. Not only is he averaging a time of 35.9 minutes on the court but is also averaging 29.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.7 assists for a team that currently has Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, and Lonnie Walker IV sidelined.
So, it does feel like Bayless’ latest polarizing rant of criticism on LeBron doesn’t hold still in the water once again. However, it would be interesting to witness how James will cope back on the court as the Los Angeles Lakers host the Dallas Mavericks in their next game.