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“Shorty Just Passed Mike”: LeBron James Has Iman Shumpert Vehemently Claiming He’s Passed Michael Jordan As The GOAT

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar
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"Shorty Just Passed Mike": LeBron James Has Iman Shumpert Vehemently Claiming He's Passed Michael Jordan As The GOAT

When Michael Jordan retired for the third and final time from the NBA, he was arguably termed as the greatest player in the league’s history. However, LeBron James‘ body of work over the past 21 years and counting has slightly loosened the six-time champion’s claim to the throne.

NBA players, analysts, and fans have endlessly debated and continue to argue Jordan and James’ case as the greatest of all time. One former retired player, Iman Shumpert, gave his two cents on the debate in an interview with 247HH. He sided with the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, saying,

“I just put him above Mike; he just passed Mike on my list for the greatest. The greatest competitor to me is always going to Mike, but as far as the GOAT, we talking about the greatest, what our minds should think of when we think of an NBA basketball player put Bron on the screen.”

 

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Shumpert’s comments suggest he only recently put James above Jordan on his all-time list. The interview was only months after the Lakers superstar passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. James’ incredible achievement likely persuaded Shumpert to concede that he is the greatest basketball player ever.

Shumpert, James’ teammate for three years between 2015 and 2018, added that the Lakers superstar’s IQ and ability to predict the opponent’s plays was unlike anything he had ever seen. He credited Jordan for being the most competitive player in NBA history. But, James’ overall playstyle and incredible resume have Shumpert convinced that he’s the greatest player ever.

He might come off as slightly biased, considering they were teammates and won a title together in 2016. However, the GOAT debate is a matter of personal opinion, and according to Shumpert, the four-time MVP sits at basketball’s mountaintop.

LeBron James believes he’s the greatest player of all time

While Iman Shumpert has only recently put LeBron James above Michael Jordan and atop his GOAT list, the Lakers superstar did it when they won the title together in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

While discussing the Cavaliers’ title win in an episode of ‘More Than An Athlete,’ James said,

“That moment right there made me the greatest player of all-time, that’s what I felt. I was super, super ecstatic to win one for Cleveland because of the 52-year drought. The first wave of emotion was everyone saw me crying. That was all for 52 years of everything in sports going on in Cleveland. And then after I stopped, I was like, ‘That one right there made you the greatest player of all-time.’”

James added that the 73-9 Golden State Warriors were dubbed the ‘greatest team of all time’ and leading Cleveland to the title after beating them ended the GOAT debate. The four-time MVP led the Cavaliers to victory from a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals and captured his third NBA title. He has since added a fourth title and fourth Finals MVP award to his resume.

James reiterated that he’s the greatest basketball player in his estimation after he passed Kareem on the scoring list. When Shaquille O’Neal asked if becoming the all-time leading points scorer made him the GOAT, he said,

“Listen big fella, me personally, I’m going to take myself against anybody that’s ever played this game…. I always feel like I’m the best to ever play this game, but there are so many other great ones, and I’m happy to just be a part of their journey.”

The debate between Jordan and James continues to rage on. But in the four-time MVP’s mind, it’s been over for almost eight years.

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

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Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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