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Michael Jordan Honestly Explained Why He Is Not The Greatest Player Of All Time

Michael Jordan gave a humble answer to why he’s not the GOAT.    

Michael Jordan’s name is synonymous with the GOAT debate in the NBA for most fans. After taking a look at Jordan’s achievements, they tend to label him as the greatest basketball player of all time.

But does Jordan think of himself as the GOAT? No. In a conversation with John Thompson ahead of the 2003 NBA All-Star game, Michael Jordan honestly explained why he is not the greatest basketball player of all time.

“False,” Jordan responded. “Because I didn’t play against all the great players prior to me, and those were the players that influenced my game. 

“It’s a great honor, don’t get me wrong, but I’d love to play against Jerry West to determine if I was a better guard than him or Oscar Robertson, but we will never know,” he explained.

(Starts at 4:38)

Michael Jordan’s resume is absolutely stacked. He won six NBA Championships, six NBA Finals MVPs, five regular season MVPs, and one NBA Defensive Player of the Year. 

He also was an 11x All-NBA, 9x All-Defensive, 14x NBA All-Star, 10x NBA Scoring Champion, and 3x NBA Steals Champion. ‘His Airness’ averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game in his 15-year-long NBA career.

Keeping that in mind, Michael Jordan deserves the title of the GOAT. The only player who has come close to dethroning him is LeBron James.

But when our writer Eddie Bitar compared LeBron James and Michael Jordan, the latter came out on top. While James’ resume is stacked, he still needs two NBA Championships, two NBA Finals MVPs, one regular season MVP, one NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and nine NBA Scoring Championships to reach Jordan’s level in terms of accolades.

Michael Jordan Says The Players Before Him Helped Him In Evolving His Game

The media has a tendency to always compare great NBA players. Considering Jordan is regarded as the epitome of success in the league, he has been compared to many legends over the years.

But whenever Jordan has been asked about his status as the GOAT, he has refused to give a selfish answer. Instead, he has praised the players who played before him and helped him in shaping his game.

“When they start comparing, you know, who’s the best of all time, I never can accept that role,” the 60-year-old once said. “There’s a lot of old guys that influenced my game. If I didn’t see those guys, there’s no way my game would have evolved. 

“I’m not here campaigning for the best player in the world or in history, I’m not saying that. Because everybody plays differently, in different eras.”

The NBA will always evolve. As a result, each era is bound to have a player who dominates that time span with his playing style. Keeping that in mind, comparing between eras is never a good idea, and Jordan certainly doesn’t like it.