Opinion: LeBron James is the G.O.A.T

Austin Lane, Staff Reporter

It’s no question anymore; LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all time.

The thing that pushes LeBron over Michael Jordan as the best NBA player in history is the talent surrounding each player on their respective teams, and what they did specifically in regards to that talent either being there, or not being there.

Let’s compare their careers. For LeBron, through 15 seasons, he has made the playoffs 13 times. All in a row after missing the playoffs his first two seasons. He’s a 14-time all-star, three-time NBA Finals Champion, four-time MVP, and three-time Finals MVP.

Jordan played 15 seasons, and made the playoffs 13 times as well. Where LeBron missed the first two years of his career, Jordan missed the playoffs in his final two years with the Wizards. He’s a 14 time all-star, six-time NBA Finals Champion, five-time MVP, and six-time Finals MVP.

The biggest argument for Jordan being a better player overall is the amount of Finals rings he had over his career. Jordan has more rings because competition when he played was easier to overcome. For LeBron, playing in today’s NBA is why he doesn’t have as many rings.

Jordan played and won his Finals rings all between 1991-1998, a time in the NBA where the league was weak, soft, and full of expansion teams.

LeBron has had to deal with playing on a horrible 2006-2010 Cleveland team, having to play the San Antonio Spurs of the early 2010’s, and also found a way to come back down 3-1 in the Finals and beat what many consider to be the greatest basketball team of all time, the 2015 Golden State Warriors.

Outside of team ability and potential for either player, personal career stats play a big role as well. For LeBron, who shows no sign of retiring in the next year or two, stats that he has already surpassed Jordan in will continue to grow.

By the time his career is over, LeBron will be above Jordan in career points scored, all-star games, playoffs reached, NBA Finals reached, Olympic medals, overall record, rebounds per game, assists per game, and total triple-doubles.

The numbers add up; at this point in his career, LeBron James has already passed Michael Jordan as the greatest NBA player of all-time. For LeBron to even make it to the second round of this year’s playoffs with the way the rest of Cleveland is playing is a big milestone. If Cleveland wins this year’s NBA Finals, I hope it will be a unanimous decision. LeBron James is the GOAT.