Former NBA champion and Finals MVP Rick Barry shuns the NBA GOAT debate. The former Warriors superstar believes in the theory of having the best player in each position.
Who is the NBA GOAT? is a timeless topic and amongst one of the favorite barbershop conversations. Whether it is Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or LeBron James, NBA fans indulge every now and then as to who is the greatest to play the game invented by James Naismith.
The NBA pundits and trade analysts are often seen at loggerheads while debating this topic, trying to outmatch each other with either statistics or the era in which the particular player played. However, there has and will continue to be a division on this topic.
Recently, Hall of Famer Rick Barry slammed fans and analysts alike for constantly indulging in these meaningless debates. Barry stated that if one wanted to determine the GOAT, especially in a team sport, the logical way is to pick the best player at each position.
Also read: “Shaquille O’Neal did not want to ‘look like a sissy’!”: Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry’s son Jon Barry recalls the time when he gave the Lakers’ superstar advice to boost his efficiency from the charity stripe
Barry spoke about how players play multiple positions in the current era of the NBA. There is no assigned position for each individual, making it further difficult to determine the GOAT.
Rick Barry gives a new angle to the NBA GOAT conversation.
Barry feels the GOAT conversation will always be a subjective one. According to Barry, a more effective to determine the GOAT is to classify the best player in each position.
“Why does everybody want to talk about the GOAT?… Everybody talks about the GOAT. You cannot, in team sports, pick the greatest player of all time. It has to be by position.”
Barry added that players in today’s era don’t play the same position at all times. Thus making it further difficult to determine the GOAT.
“So if they want to do something, pick the players by position. The problem is now, you don’t have guys that are classified as centers. You look to see the GM survey that they had. The GMs are talking and voting about players and putting different players in 3 different positions.
You can’t compare Magic Johnson to Wilt Chamberlain. I mean you just can’t do that because the skills required to play each position is different. So I go nuts when I hear that oh Michael Jordan is the greatest of all, oh no LeBron James is the greatest of all time,” said the former scoring champion.”
“You cannot, in team sports, pick the greatest player of all-time”
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) October 10, 2021
Though Barry makes sense in his arguments, one cannot deny that this wouldn’t stop the NBA universe from debating their favorite topic.