LeBron James is the GOAT.
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This season, the NBA will commemorate its 75th anniversary by releasing a list of the 75 best players of all time during opening week. Kendrick Perkins, on the other hand, has beaten them to the punch, releasing his own list through SLAM Magazine. And immediately away, the ESPN commentator defied common opinion by picking LeBron James above Michael Jordan as the NBA’s All-Time Greatest Player.
Kendrick Perkins prefers LeBron James over Michael Jordan in the NBA.
Perkins posted a list of his 75 all-time favorite players on Friday. The top ten was rather uncontroversial; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was ranked third, followed by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in the top five. Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Bill Russell all made the top ten list. But the greatest takeaway will undoubtedly be LeBron’s victory against Jordan.
Perkins spoke on SLAM’s Little Pump Fakes podcast to discuss his roster, and he wasted no time getting to his top pick.
Perkins bragged, “It’s a no-brainer.” “This is the kind of person that everyone should have.” James, the GOAT, LeBron James, King James.”
“Two of the greatest championships of all time if you consider the 3-1 comeback against one of the best teams in history in the Golden State Warriors and the title he won down in the bubble,” Perk added. Then there’s the fact that you’re talking about four separate titles for three different teams. We’re talking about championships here, and it’s never been done in the history of the game for four Finals MVPs.”
When it came to Jordan, His Airness was towards the top of the list. Perkins ranked MJ second only to LeBron James.
“You have to appreciate a man that has three-peated twice, you know what I’m saying?” Perkins remarked. “After Magic, Bird, Isiah [Thomas], and Dominique [Wilkins], Jordan was Disneyworld to the game of basketball.” Jordan was like Disneyworld, and all of those men were like the circus. Mike, with his amazing rides and everything, was idolized by everyone. That’s why I put Michael Jackson at number two.”
Perkins was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers alongside James.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kendrick Perkins #3 and LeBron James #23 high-five after a play. | Jason Miller/Getty Images
To be fair to Perkins, it’s possible that his choice of James as number one is a bit skewed.
Perkins joined LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in February 2015, his first season back following a four-year stint with the Miami Heat. As Cleveland advanced to the NBA Finals before losing to Golden State, the 14-year veteran came off the bench for 17 regular-season games and eight postseason games. He returned to Cleveland for the 2017-18 season, LeBron’s last with the team, but only appeared in one game and sat out the bulk of the playoffs.
The two NBA champs have remained friends throughout their careers. James complimented Perkins on his new ESPN deal earlier this year.
“Way to go, my brother!! “Keep going up @KendrickPerkins,” LeBron said on Twitter, adding a few emoticons at the end. Perkins replied, “Appreciate you, my brother.”
Is LeBron James a better basketball player than Michael Jordan?
The Jordan-LeBron argument will not be resolved by Kendrick Perkins’ views. Even when James’ career is finished, there’s a strong possibility it will never be resolved.
Both players have compelling arguments. In Perk’s defense, LeBron earning a Finals MVP award on three separate teams is remarkable. Not to mention the fact that James is the NBA’s third all-time best scorer, two places ahead of Jordan, and is closing up on Abdul-Jabbar for the top slot.
It’s difficult to disagree with six rings and an undefeated NBA Finals record for Jordan, particularly while James is 4-6. Michael also has five MVP Awards, ten scoring championships, and nine All-Defensive team appearances, which puts him ahead of James in every category.
LeBron may need to win at least two more titles at 36 years old before people consider him worthy of overtaking Michael. Even if that were to happen, his six Finals defeats may be too much for him to overcome. Regardless, Perkins demonstrated that there is at least one person on the planet who thinks LeBron is the GOAT.
Basketball Reference provided all statistics.
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