Across the sports world, one of the livelier debates centers around determining just who was the greatest of all-time. For example, was Pele the greatest soccer player ever, or has Lionel Messi or perhaps Cristiano Ronaldo taken the title?
It’s an argument that ultimately comes down to personal opinion, which is what makes it so engaging, as well as essentially impossible to definitively answer. In the basketball world, Michael Jordan has long been accepted as the greatest to ever take to the hardwood.
His dominance signaled the start of a new era for the NBA game, one that had just been thrust into the spotlight by the epic duels of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Magic Johnson and Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird.
However, while Jordan is widely regarded as the best, he doesn’t have a stranglehold on the title. LeBron James made his case all the more formidable by reaching an eighth straight NBA Finals.
And some, like ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, believes Celtics big man Bill Russell gets the nod due to his collection of championship rings (11). However, former Lakers guard and head coach Byron Scott believes teammate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the true greatest of all-time, as he stated on ESPN’s “The Jump” this week:
“Kareem is the greatest. Kareem is the greatest. Again, we all probably have different opinions. A little bias, but the man was unguardable. Like, he was unguardable.”
Of course, when Scott says that Abdul-Jabbar was unguardable, he is talking about the iconic sky hook. It was an unstoppable shot that has yet to truly be replicated in the NBA.
It’s thanks to his dominance as well as his durability to play 20 seasons in the league that has allowed Abdul-Jabbar to score more points than any player in history.
While ultimately the greatest of all time debate comes down to personal preference, the one thing that we can say is that Abdul-Jabbar certainly deserves to be in the discussion.
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