GOAT title split between Jordan and James

Damien Miramontes

Who’s the GOAT:  Jordan or James?  It’s almost a split decision, but teens tend to lean towards Michael Jordan.

In all eras of basketball, the quote “GOAT” is used a lot by fans to label certain players.   It means Greatest Of All Time.  According to Sporting news’s “Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James: The key stats you need to know in the GOAT debate,” by Jordan Greer, interestingly, The ESPN documentary series “The Last Dance” showed a younger generation of NBA fans that Michael Jordan is much more than a guy who sells retro sneakers. For those who witnessed Jordan’s greatness throughout two three-peats with the Bulls, it reinforced the belief he is the greatest player to ever touch the court. But, for the new generation of basketball fans, there is an argument to be made for putting LeBron James over Jordan, and James’ case overtime only grew stronger after LeBron and his teammates led the Lakers past the Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals. The playoff statistics mirror what Jordan and James produce during the regular season. Despite James’ increased usage and efficiency from beyond the arc throughout his career, it’s worth noting he shoots about the same percentage as Jordan from the 3-point range. Jordan is the all-time playoff leader in PER and Box Plus/Minus, and he has the highest usage percentage. But, James tops everyone in VORP and Win Shares. In a random survey, 6 out of 10 students chose Jordan over LeBron, while 5 out of 10 adults chose LeBron over Jordan.

“The 1980s and 1990s were a much tougher era that Jordan was able to handle. The defense was better and the teams were better. The 1990s had the most teams that won 50 or 60 games in NBA history for a decade. Despite that, Jordan’s Bulls defeated seven 60+ win teams and 20 teams that had between 50-59 wins. In my opinion, LeBron in that era wouldn’t stand a chance in the competitiveness ball court,” Morton East student Saul Gonzalez said.

Of course, some can argue with that statement.

“Well, LeBron is a floor general in the offense.  He runs everything ’cause he’s a PG.  But,  if he does attack the basket someone’s going to be open in the corner. In defense, he used to be good as a defender, but with his age, he stopped playing defense,” Morton East student Gio Bahena said.

It’s true how LeBron is on the main floor, but it doesn’t compare to how much a competitive offense and defense Jordan is on the main court.

“Michael Jordan is a straight killer when he gets the ball in his hands.  (He has a)the mindset to score the ball at all times, and he does because that man’s a god; his mid-range game was godly. His post-fade was just too good for the other players. On defense, he would lock down the best player on the other team.  For his whole career, he never stopped playing defense since his main goal was to stop anyone who got in his way for title as best player,” senior Alex Castro said.