The long-standing debate in the NBA has been surrounding Michael Jordan and LeBron James. The two best players from their respective eras have been compared against each other for years, with many debating who the greatest of all time is between the two legends.
While younger fans pick LeBron as their GOAT, older fans pick Michael Jordan. The argument against LeBron is that he had more hall of fame caliber teammates across his career, whereas fans of LeBron argue that his longevity puts him above Jordan in the GOAT discussion.
The debate can get heated a lot of times, as people from both sides become very passionate while arguing for either player. But what do some of LeBron James and Michael Jordan's rivals, teammates, and friends think?
A video was posted recently which looks at how teammates, friends, and even rivals of both Michael Jordan and LeBron James perceive them. Surprisingly, all of LeBron James' friends and rivals picked Michael Jordan over him. As for Michael Jordan, all of his contemporaries regularly spoke his praise and dubbed him the greatest of all time.
Teammates, Friends and Rivals of LeBron James and Michael Jordan pick the greatest of all time
Anthony Davis: "Jordan"
Dwyane Wade: "Michael Jordan. He will be my GOAT till the day I pass away"
Ray Allen: "For me, it's MJ all day long."
Jared Dudley: "Of all time? It's Jordan."
Iman Shumpert: "Jordan. Like I said, Bron you my dawg, you know this tho."
Kevin Garnett: "Let me tell you something tho. The C's, we didn't give a f*ck about LeBron."
Damian Lillard: "I think Jordan is the GOAT."
Tracy McGrady: "MJ was that dude to take over a game, averaging 40 in the Finals one year, winning that championship. Defending the best players. I can't, he's just the greatest to me."
Larry Bird: "I think he can go to another level any time he wants to. Probably the greatest player in the game right now.""That wasn't Michael Jordan out there, it was god disguised as Michael Jordan."
Magic Johnson: "Michael Jordan is the most talented player in the NBA by far."
"I think so, I think not only is he the best basketball player ever, but probably the greatest athlete that's played any sport."
Hakeem Olajuwon: "Jordan is a far far more superior player. In a very tough league. And very very creative. Let's not take anything away from LeBron James, he is a great player. But he is not a fair comparison because I think Jordan is far superior player."
Isiah Thomas: "I feel like sometimes he treatin' us like we in high school."
"He by far is the best ive ever seen. And Erving's my boy. But Air, yeah. He real sweet. The dude, you see what he be doing?"
Anthony Davis and Dwyane Wade are probably the most surprising, given how close of a relationship they share with LeBron James. But perhaps their attachment to Jordan comes from the fact that both players are Chicago natives, and Jordan played for the Bulls. So they probably grew up adoring MJ in their childhood.
Wade even admitted very recently that Michael Jordan had a massive impact on his life. And given his playing style and the position was similar to Jordan's that does not come as a massive surprise.
As for players like Damian Lillard, Jared Dudley, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, they all faced off against LeBron James. But for them, given their ages, they grew up idolizing Michael Jordan, and some of them even got the chance to play against MJ during their careers.
Jordan's contemporaries like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Isiah Thomas were of the opinion that Jordan was the greatest of all time. Having shared a court with him, they knew that he was unlike anything the NBA had ever seen before.
LeBron is often not put ahead of his predecessors. Several current and former NBA players, including Michael Jordan, picked Kobe Bryant over LeBron James as well. LeBron is often behind Jordan when most NBA personalities are asked. Even LeBron James admitted recently that he has been attempting to catch up to Michael Jordan's 6 NBA championships.
Perhaps for the younger generation of NBA players who are just coming into the league, LeBron is the greatest of all time. After all, the young players today would have grown up idolizing LeBron James because they were too young to see Michael Jordan. But it is clear that people who saw them both still believe MJ is above LeBron.