Stephen A. Smith’s list of the top three all-time NBA players has stirred up some debate in the basketball community. His top three picks are widely accepted as uncontroversial, as these three players, in that order, tend to be the most common top three choices when polled among basketball enthusiasts.
Smith’s top three includes:
- Michael Jordan
- LeBron James
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
These three legends have consistently earned their spots among the all-time greats. However, the list becomes more complicated beyond these three, as different fans value various qualities in players. For instance, Smith selected Magic Johnson, while some modern fans are ready to place Stephen Curry ahead of Magic in the all-time point guard conversation. Bill Russell’s era and playing style are so different from the modern game that many fans don’t include him in their top five lists.
The competition for the remaining two spots in the top five is fierce, with players like Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, and Wilt Chamberlain in contention. Ultimately, while personal preferences may lead to variations in these lists, Stephen A. Smith’s choices have sparked discussions and provided food for thought for basketball fans.
LeBron James’ Quest to Be the GOAT: How Does He Compare to Michael Jordan?
LeBron James continues his quest to be regarded as the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) in the NBA, but Michael Jordan’s status as the GOAT may seem untouchable, given the incredible scale of his achievements.
Jordan’s accolades are staggering: six-time NBA champion, six-time Finals MVP, five-time regular-season MVP, one-time Defensive Player of the Year, 10-time scoring champion, 14-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA, and nine-time All-Defensive. These accomplishments don’t even cover the numerous records he holds.
In comparison, LeBron James has four NBA championships, four Finals MVP awards, four league MVP titles, and one scoring championship, controversially missing a Defensive Player of the Year award. However, his longevity is unparalleled, with 19 All-Star and All-NBA appearances, holding records for the most inclusions on both lists.
While Jordan’s career averages of 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.3 steals are statistically superior, LeBron’s 27.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.3 assists showcase his versatile playing style. Ultimately, the debate of LeBron vs. Jordan for the title of GOAT comes down to personal preference and priorities. Both players have left an indelible mark on the history of the game.