Who is the greatest basketball player of all time?
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was a distant second.
Business Insider polled 1,082 American adults on March 10 and asked who they believed to be the greatest player of all time based on their knowledge of the game. Of those polled, 747 responded.
Two-thirds, or 66 percent, said Jordan was the GOAT, while 10.4 percent said James.
— Bert Tortellini (@bmav108) March 19, 2019
Celtics legend Larry Bird was third with 4 percent, followed by Wilt Chamberlain (3.5 percent), Shaquille O’Neal (2.7 percent), Kobe Bryant (2.3 percent), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2.1 percent), Steph Curry (2 percent), and Magic Johnson and Bill Russell (1 percent).
The respondents cited Jordan’s six championships with the Bulls, his undefeated record in the NBA Finals and his influence in boosting the NBA’s popularity as the major reasons.
— Darren Apels (@DarrenApels) March 18, 2019
Jordan is a 14-time All-Star, five-time MVP and six-time Finals MVP, and he also won the Defensive Player of the Year Award. He ranks fifth in career points.
Those who voted for James pointed to his longevity and the fact that he made eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances, winning three. They also cited the excellence of his overall game, beyond scoring.
It should be noted that more Jordan voters said they never watched basketball than James voters who said the same thing.
But still, it’s abundantly clear to most people that Jordan is the GOAT.
James did surpass Jordan on the all-time scoring list earlier this month, but he did so in more games.
LeBron has 32,439 career points in 1,190 games over 16 seasons, a career average of 27.2 points per game.
Jordan had 32,292 points in 1,072 games over 15 seasons, a career average of 30.1 points per game.
They both trail Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (33,643) in total points.
James, who is in the first year of a four-year contract with the Lakers, has a good chance of surpassing Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. And while another championship might help him move closer to Jordan, it’s doubtful that he’ll be able to surpass MJ as the greatest in most people’s eyes.
What do you think?
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