Debating the GOAT was, is, and always will be, the most popular conversation in any sport — and basketball is no exception.
Who is the greatest basketball player of all time? The question always sparks a lively discussion but is fundamentally wrong if you think about it. The same goes for — who’s the greatest singer, writer, or artist of all-time? Most of the time, it’s a matter of personal opinion, and it’s simple as that.
How can you compare players who never played against each other, players who played against different competition, or players who played with different equipment? And that’s precisely the point Michael Jordan made during his interview with Cigar Aficionado.
“I never played against Wilt Chamberlain, I never played against Jerry West, to now say that one is greater than the other is being a little bit unfair.”Michael Jordan, Cigar Aficionado
“I won 6 championships; Bill Russell won 11. Does that make Bill Russell better than me? Or make me better than him? No. Because we played at different eras.”Michael Jordan, Cigar Aficionado
To make this a valid discussion, we have to add the component of time or era during which the player experienced his peak. Moving forward, let’s limit the debate to decades, that will keep the discussion fair and a bit more civil. MJ agrees.