One of the biggest sports debates in recent years has centered around who is the greatest NBA player of all time.
The debate also focuses on LeBron James and Michael Jordan as the two who have put together very similar careers. On Thursday, The Player's Tribune released a piece from Allen Iverson in which the former Philadelphia 76ers great touched on a variety of topics. However, his most interesting comments were about the "G.O.A.T." debate. Iverson admitted that James was a sensational player and has "love" for him, but he had to go with Jordan when it comes to this conversation.
Alright, I have to weigh in on this GOAT conversation.
I have to. I'm hearing a lot of people these days fronting like they have LeBron over Mike!!
Man….. listen. First of all, I love LeBron. I have nothing but love for LeBron. That's the best player of his generation, one of the best ever, a great husband, great father, great role model, and it's even beyond that: What he's doing with that school in Akron?? It's a beautiful thing.
We're talking about Mike.
We're talking about Mike, O.K.??
We're talking about Black Jesus himself.
And I don't really have much more to say beyond that. Mike is the GOAT……. Mike is always going to be the GOAT. And please don't even insult me with any of this "stats, AI!" business, like you have a chance of changing my mind.
Iverson's viewpoint may not come as a huge surprise considering that he went toe-to-toe with Jordan early in his NBA career. However, by the time James came around, Iverson already had been in the league for quite some time while he already experienced several epic battles with Jordan in the past.
One of the more iconic moments of Iverson's career came on March 12, 1997 when he went faced off against Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. It was late in Iverson's rookie season and he found himself being guarded by Jordan in a one-on-one situation and was able to use his patented crossover to catch Jordan. Iverson nailed a mid-range jump shot that had the NBA world buzzing.
Jordan seems to be the most logical pick in the "G.O.A.T." debate due to the fact that he had such an amazing career. In his 15 NBA seasons, the Bulls legend ended up averaging 30.1 points while shooting 49.7 percent from the field as he spent time with Chicago and the Washington Wizards.
The biggest difference in the careers of James and Jordan have been the NBA titles to each player's credit. Jordan secured six championships -- in six Finals appearances -- during his time with the Bulls while James has just three -- two coming with the Miami Heat and one with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James also has 15 seasons in the books, with his first with the Los Angeles Lakers just a quarter of the way through. Obviously, James is no slouch with a career average of 27.2 points and a 50.4 percent shooting clip over the course of his season. It'll be interesting to see if the debate changes at all if James, whose Lakers play Friday against the Spurs (8:30 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), secures a few more NBA titles during his time in Hollywood.