There is no need to introduce Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, as both guards have had outstanding careers. However, one WNBA legend believes that another player has had more influence on basketball than either of them… and she’s probably right about that.
The GOAT debate rages on within the orange ball community, particularly around Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Whether it’s players, fans, coaches or executives, everyone has their own opinion on the issue and it’s always interesting to know which side is supported by which big name in the league. Recently, it was Stephen Curry who gave his frank opinion on the matter.
However, unlike the Chief who is leaning more towards the Bull, Candace Parker seems to be in favor of the four-time Lakers champion for this honorary distinction. Invited to the DangerTalk podcast on ESPN, the one who is one of the best all-time athletes of the WNBA explained that the King was on another planet, in terms of influence on his sport. Not so much because of his performances, as crazy as they are, but because of his off-court activity, which she says is almost beyond compare:
Candace Parker praises LeBron James
LeBron is incredible. He’s an athlete that, if we’re talking about just the court, is he better than Mike? I don’t know. Is he better than Kobe? I don’t know. He’s definitely top 5 all-time. Top 3 in my opinion. But in terms of impact as an athlete, like the platform he’s had, social justice and building schools, and changing the way we think about athletes and business. He’s number one, for sure.
Parker puts his finger on a fundamental aspect of the Chosen One: the latter managed to transcend his status as an athlete like few others before him. His fight for civil rights is the best example, LBJ joining Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and others Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf in this fight against inequality, especially in the United States. Fervent supporter of the Democratic Party, the winger has managed to break the taboo of politics in the NBA, more than anyone else.
Of course, everything is not yet perfect on this point and the case of Enes Freedom vs China is the best example. James himself is accused by the inside of corporatism… Nevertheless, if so many athletes were in the streets with the Black Lives Matter movement, it is also because he himself pointed the way. Conversely, Jordan has long been criticized for remaining neutral for commercial purposes, especially after his « Republicans buy my shoes too » statement in the 1990s.