LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan Is Greatest Sports Debate, But It's Not Any Good

Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Michael Jordan and LeBron James are almost universally recognized as the two best basketball players of all time. And when you really think about it, it's downright shocking that the public has essentially come to this consensus considering that fighting over which of these two is the greatest of all time has become the unofficial mascot of embrace debate culture. Every day that passes without this being a topic is a gift from above so it is with a heavy heart that we announce it's once again time to reset the ol' Days Without a LeBron-MJ Argument counter back to zero.

Because what if James leads the underdog Los Angeles Lakers through the Denver Nuggets, the entire Western Conference, and to another title? Stephen A. Smith admitted a few days ago that if that happens his Jordan argument won't be as strong. The Get Up crew played this clip for Alan Hann this morning, who could not get through the entire 10 seconds or whatever without some vigorous head-shaking.

"How many parlays are we going to come up with to make this argument go away?" Hahn asked. "It's never going away ever. This is the all-time greatest sports debate that's never going away."

Sadly, he's not wrong. Like Hahn, I tend to actually lean toward James because he's had a better career. But if someone wants to point to Jordan's 6-0 NBA Finals record there is nothing I can say or even want to say to push them off that position.

Here's the thing, though. That's never happened. I've not once in my life had a discussion with another person about who the GOAT is. It's tough to even imagine doing so because it would just come off as ironic. The sports take industrial complex has taken any fun that ever existed here and ground it into a pulp.

Everyone involved in these discussions knows that there isn't a real answer, that people won't agree, and at this point battle lines have been drawn to the point that there's nothing James could do to sway anyone. The whole enterprise feels pointless and a slightly better version of what happens when cable news has pundits from both sides of the aisle to debate something and don't get anywhere by the time the host bids the audience goodnight.

Hahn makes a reference to a previous schism around the existence and merits of the designated hitter, which provides some false hope because that one was settled cleanly and most people have stopped pretending to care passionately either way. That is equivocally not going to happen with LeBron-MJ and the further removed James is from playing, the worse the discourse is going to become.

Not looking forward to it.