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JR Smith believes that LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan as the GOAT two years ago

628   //    13 Apr 2018, 03:58 IST

JR Smith and LeBron James have been teammates in Cleveland the past three seasons
JR Smith and LeBron James have been teammates in Cleveland the past three seasons

What's the story?

Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith recently spoke with Bleacher Report's Uninterrupted to discuss the never-ending debate of who is the best of all-time in the NBA, LeBron James or Michael Jordan. Smith believes that LeBron passed MJ two years ago.

In case you didn't know...

JR Smith and LeBron James have played together for the past three seasons in Cleveland. JR came over to the Cavaliers in January 2015 via a three-team trade involving the New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder that included players such as Iman Shumpert and Dion Waiters.

The heart of the matter

JR Smith stated that Michael Jordan was the greatest of all-time up until two years ago and would further state his case why in the quote below:

"The last couple years, at 33 years old, averaging a triple-double a whole month walking into the playoffs. Just hit 31,000 points the other day. Hit 30,000 points earlier this year...8,000 rebounds...8,000 assists..."

The Uninterrupted Twitter account posted that part of the interview on Thursday morning.

The full 45-minute interview can also be found on Uninterrupted's YouTube channel.

They played a recent interview that Ray Allen had for JR while he was in the Uninterrupted studios. Allen stated that Michael Jordan was the greatest of all-time when it came down to MJ, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James, all of which Allen has played against in his career.


Allen used the words "by far" to describe the difference between MJ and LeBron. After hearing that clip JR replied with "absolutely not".

The guys in the studio then discussed the major factors that are always brought up by those in defense of Jordan such as the hand checking that was allowed back then. That argument was countered with there were a lot of "bums" playing during Jordan's time in the NBA.

They used the example of Craig Ehlo, who would guard Jordan for the Cavs in the 1980's and 1990's, as one of those so-called bums and imagined what JR Smith could do against him.

What's next?

The Cleveland Cavaliers ended up with the 4-seed in the Eastern Conference and will draw a tough match-up against the 5-seed Indiana Pacers. Game one of this first-round playoff game will air on ABC Sunday afternoon at 2:30 Eastern.

Author's take

It's an interesting debate that will go on for many years to come. Some value the championships that Jordan won compared to the statistical accolades the LeBron has amassed over his career.

The game was so different when Jordan played from today as LeBron continues his future Hall of Fame career. In the end it comes down to opinion because you're basically comparing apples and oranges given how the game has changed.

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