Michael Jordan has been in the news this past week largely because of LeBron’s comments on surpassing Jordan to become the greatest player of all time.
LeBron, on his 34th birthday dropped a bomb shell on the NBA fraternity, claiming to have secured the title of the GOAT, after the Cavs completed a 4-3 comeback win against the Warriors in the 2016 NBA finals.
The Cavs had fallen 3-1 behind in the finals, but then managed to win 2 on the road to complete one of the greatest NBA finals comeback wins ever.
LeBron admitted that beating that 73-9 Warriors side was a phenomenal achievement and it was at that moment that he felt that he had become the greatest player of all time.
“My problem is more so with LeBron is if you are the greatest player, if people are saying you are the greatest player … why do you need to say it?”
—Scottie Pippen discussing LeBron James’ “GOAT” comments on The Jump pic.twitter.com/Nyx3dBu5ef
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 4, 2019
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) December 30, 2018
Since then, Jordan(and probably NBA fans altogether) have been digging for old Jordan quotes, about how the great man approached questions surrounding the ‘GOAT debate’.
Jordan was pretty humble about it, confirming that he couldn’t really call himself the GOAT, as that would be disrespectful to players who played in the NBA before him.
Michael Jordan explains why he would never call himself the GOAT.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 2, 2019
Now, since then people have been trying to dig who Jordan’s favourite player in the NBA. In a statement that was issued in 2017, Jordan had said that at that time, he felt Kawhi Leonard was the best 2 way player in the league and probably the best overall player as well.
However, when asked about which player reminds Jordan of himself, he said it was Westbrook, despite the duo having different positions and different playing styles.
“Thirty years ago, that’s me,” Jordan said.
“The attitude, trying to prove myself, showing so much passion for the game of basketball. You see it in his play. You can tell he loves the game, he plays with energy and flair.” he added.
Michael Jordan on Russell Westbrook: “You should be proud of the sense of loyalty this kid has shown.” pic.twitter.com/qdxUca8bV1
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) November 18, 2016
— NewsOK (@NewsOK) August 10, 2016
It is Westbrook’s energy and attitude that Jordan feels is similar to what he had during his career. While the players may be different in the way they play the game, they do have similar traits of approaching it and similar goals.
Jordan then also took a dig at KD for leaving OKC for greener pastures.
— Nate Feken (@TheGreat_Nate) November 18, 2016
Westbroook was ecstatic that Jordan chose him while answering the question about who he feels plays basketball like him.
“That’s crazy,” Westbrook said.
“I really don’t know what to say. To have the best player who ever played the game to say that about you as a player and as a person is something that is going to keep me striving.” he added.
Now, with Jordan choosing Kawhi and Westbrook as two players he rates highly, one wonders how high does Jordan rank LeBron.
Jordan has never really mentioned LeBron, in one of his favourite players answers, nor has he mentioned him in the ‘GOAT debate’.