Ever since LeBron James completed a virtuoso Eastern Conference playoff run that ranks as the most impressive of his career, there have been three prevailing arguments for why this isn’t a good time to reassess his standing against Michael Jordan in the GOAT argument.
The first, of course, uses Jordan’s 6-0 record in NBA Finals as the conversation-ender over James, who is 3-5 and will be a rather significant underdog once again this time versus the Golden State Warriors. People who fall into this camp will never be swayed, and thus, will not engage in the conversation no matter what James accomplishes the rest of his career.
The second group claims that James’ place in history isn’t written yet because his career isn’t over and thus we don’t have the full perspective over his accomplishments, which is accurate but a cop-out given that we have been given the capability as humans of reassessing things in real time.
And the third group just wants us to avoid the comparison with Jordan altogether because, they claim, we should simply just sit back and appreciate James for what he is in the here and now, implying that somehow a sports argument takes away from our ability to enjoy what he’s doing in his 15th NBA season by making an eighth consecutive Finals.
To all of these folks, I have only one response: What else do you want us to talk about?
At a time when we’re about to watch the same two teams play in the NBA Finals for a fourth consecutive year and that the 2018-19 season will start in five months with 25 of the league’s 30 teams effectively eliminated from championship contention on Day 1, what could possibly be more important or relevant than the possibility that the GOAT discussion has shifted in a significant way?
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