Michael Jordan will always be considered basketball’s greatest of all time, even if someone surpasses him, according to Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard.
One question lobbed his way: Can LeBron James knock Michael Jordan off his greatest-of-all-time perch?
@Dame_Lillard you think Bron has a shot to become the GOAT?
— Amaan Khan (@amaanstur) August 30, 2017
Lillard’s response? That at this point, the legend of Jordan is so great that it wouldn’t even matter if someone was better then him, the consensus among fans will always be MJ.
I don’t think ppl will ever be able to admit someone is better than Jordan even if they are lol… https://t.co/DiLT7BLHd5
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) August 30, 2017
Making the GOAT argument in basketball is so specious because of how quickly the game changes—the way it’s played today, with incredible spacing and three-point barrages, is almost unrecognizable to guys from Jordan’s heyday. That’s absolutely not to say Jordan wouldn’t have dominated today like he did in the past, but he probably would have had to improve upon his career 32.7 percent shooting from downtown. And knowing how maniacally competitive MJ was/is, I doubt that would have been a problem.
Back in February 2016, ESPN ranked the 150 best players of all time. Jordan was No. 1.
“All due respect to Wilt (Chamberlain), Kobe (Bryant), LeBron, Steph (Curry), Magic (Johnson) and all other players who fall below Jordan’s No. 1 position on this list, but what set Jordan apart was his ability to follow up his own ‘God-like’ performances with something greater the next game, the next series, the next season,” wrote Scoop Jackson.
Earlier this month, Jordan said he’d rank Kobe Bryant above LeBron.
“Would I rank LeBron over Kobe in terms of best of all time? No. There’s something about five that beats three,” Jordan said, referring to the number of championships won by Kobe and LeBron, respectively. “Now he may be better than that, but Kobe won five championships. LeBron won three.”
By that logic, Robert Horry and some guy named Bill Russell are better than MJ.