Stephen A.Smith made a guest appearance on ‘The Breakfast Club’ podcast where he talked about the current situation in the NBA playoffs. He also reflected on the Lakers‘ success so far, led by LeBron James, who still plays on a remarkable level despite being 35. As an analyst, Smith often says questionable things on TV, but he was always consistent during his career in his personal opinion about the GOAT conversations.
For Smith personally, there was never any doubt that Michael Jordan is the GOAT in this never-ending debate. One of the main arguments that he supports, like many other fans that indulge in these discussions, is the road to championships that favor Jordan. Unlike Jordan, LeBron has a negative score in the NBA finals despite having the opportunity to win more than 2 titles with Wade and Bosh like they initially announced they would back in 2010.
I don’t find myself to be extra critical of him. I just say he ain’t the GOAT; it’s Michael Jordan all day, every day. It matters to me who you went up against and the road to prosperity that you took. So when you were in the eastern conference, and you had D-Wade and Chris Bosh for four years. I just look at it from a standpoint that I understand and respect the fact that LeBron James is great. He is on the Mount Rushmore, and I think he is top 2, top 3 all-time, but I am not giving him the edge over Michael Jordan.Stephen A.Smith, via The Breakfast Club
Despite his personal opinion on the GOAT matter, Smith appreciates everything LeBron is doing and has him on his Mount Rushmore. His argument in this specific case is valid, and in the same way, as many fans who have their personal preferences in these debates for particular players, they also admire other greats in the game. LeBron definitely falls in this category, and Smith has him in his top 3 players of all-time, but for him, Jordan is still untouchable.
Because that is the argument made against him, people perceive you as hating on him because you won’t give him GOAT status. If I put you on Mount Rushmore of any sport, let alone basketball, how the hell is that an insult? I’m calling you top 2, top 3 at the worst. That is not hating. That is just saying you are not Michael Jordan.Stephen A.Smith, via The Breakfast Club
The Lakers are in a great position of making it to the NBA finals. If the Nuggets don’t pull out another miracle, LeBron will participate in the 9th finals series in 10 years, which is a remarkable feat by itself. If he ends up winning his 4th NBA championships, that will definitely steer up the conversations whether he is better than Jordan or not.