The debate about the greatest basketball player of all time is a never-ending one. But one man involved in the debate, Michael Jordan, isn’t that interested in the label.
But Jordan didn’t compare himself to LeBron James. Instead, he noted that he never had the chance to play against Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, and so many of the greatest players who came before him.
Michael Jordan on the 🐐 tag. pic.twitter.com/dAGfxRcX4Z
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) January 2, 2019
For the most part, Jordan is on the money here. If anything, he’s missing some things. In addition to comparing players across eras, it can be hard to compare players from the same era at different positions. The two he cited — Chamberlain and West — are perfect examples. They were peers. But how do you compare a dominant center to a great outside player? Chamberlain could never do what West thrived at, and vice versa.
As far as eras go, Jordan is absolutely right. Even statistics, which would seem to be a fairly objective way to do it, are skewed, as styles of play change very much over the years. It’s what makes these debates simultaneously fun and frustrating.