LeBron James is playing at an elite level in his 19th year, and Michael Jordan is trying to win his first championship as an executive with the Charlotte Hornets. While both exceptional talents are going about their day jobs, fans have been engaged in an unending debate to determine the greatest basketball player of all time.
Many older fans will stick with Michael Jordan as they get to witness his dominance. Although some root for LeBron James, the younger generation is the demographic cheering him the most.
By the numbers in their careers, it is difficult to declare a glaring winner. But another basketball star has come out to say Jordan is the GOAT while acknowledging James' greatness.
"Dancing With The Stars" winner and Brooklyn Nets guard Iman Shumpert was on "The Bootleg Kev Podcast" and was asked who he considered the GOAT. Without thinking twice, Shumpert said Jordan.
"Like I said, man, Bron, you my dog," Shumpert said. "You know this, though. Me and Bron been in arguments about this."
"Bron laughs at that s**t."
"That's what I'm saying about Bron that's raw as f**k to me. 'Cause me, personally, I'll be like Mike gotta play me one-on-one, f**k all that. We streaming this s**t."
"I low-key think Mike's so competitive, bro. Mike could come out of retirement right now to play Bron one-on-one."
It was a heated conversation as Kev, a radio personality and hip hop DT, and Shumpert went back and forth. Shumpert was born in Berwyn, Ill., 20 minutes west of Chicago, and grew up watching the Chicago Bulls.
Shumpert, a shooting guard, won a championship with James in 2016 and has always praised LBJ for his understanding of the game and high basketball IQ. Regardless, he maintains Jordan is the greatest of all time in his eyes.
Michael Jordan and LeBron James have both played a crucial role in the advancement of the NBA
Without Jordan, basketball would not have been as popular as it is today globally. He sparked an interest around the world, winning six NBA championships and two gold medals in the Olympics. His unbeaten streak in the NBA Finals will always be put forward in the debate, as James has made 10 appearances and won "only" four titles.
After Jordan re-retired after a two-year stint with the Washington Wizards in 2003, James was drafted first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers that year. James has been the best player since the Jordan era, and fans jumped on the bandwagon. For almost two decades, LBJ has competed at the highest level even as he approaches his 37th birthday Dec. 30.
Both players have the highest respect and admiration for each other, as they each recognize they have played crucial roles in the NBA's history.
The debate will likely continue for a long time, as neither fanbase looks willing to let up.
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