LeBron is the GOAT, not Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, says Bill Laimbeer (video)


It’s not often that a contemporary of Michael Jordan ranks him behind LeBron James in the GOAT debate. And yet, Bill Laimbeer has done so and explained himself.


Michael Jordan may be generally considered the best basketball player of all time, but not everyone is ready to grant him unanimously this G.O.A.T. status. One of his contemporaries and disgraced ex-rival, Bill Laimbeer, thinks for example that a player who arrived after « MJ » surpasses him in this hypothetical ranking: LeBron James. This is what he explained during his appearance on ESPN’s « First Take » show.

« I’m not afraid to say that LeBron James is the best player of all time. He’s 6’3″, 115 pounds, runs like the wind, jumps like nobody’s business and has known since the day he arrived in the NBA how to get his teammates involved in winning.

It’s something that took Michel Jordan a long time to learn. If we only look at titles, Jordan has more, obviously. But I think LeBron James would be able to do what he’s doing today in any generation.

So I firmly believe that he is the best player to ever play basketball, » said Laimbeer, now 64.

One would expect no less from Bill Laimbeer. His Pistons were the first and only real thorn in Michael Jordan’s side before reaching iconic status. The man who now coaches the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA has a good case to make, and the idea that LeBron James is a more complete basketball player than anyone who has ever stepped on a floor is a valid one.

The G.O.A.T. theme involves other parameters than the number of titles or pure talent and it is a vast debate that usually ends with a « victory » of the one who has never lost an NBA Finals. Jordan has had, for now, a stronger cultural impact than the « Chosen One ».

Bill Laimbeer also displayed a little frustration with the Bad Boys’ status in history and finds them underrated, which we can grant him.

« We won two titles and if it wasn’t for a refereeing error in Game 6 against the Lakers, we would have won three. I think we’ve changed basketball for the better or worse. A lot of the rules were put in place because of us and our physical play. What we were able to do, no one else could do.

We brought defense to this league. Everyone says we destroyed basketball, but we were just making it hard for other teams on offense.

That’s how we had to win, even if no one remembers that we played the highest scoring game in history at the time. Injecting defense into the NBA is our most lasting legacy. »


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