For the last few months, there have been ongoing debates about who is the greatest basketball player of all-time. Michael Jordan has held that spot in the mind of most for years, but LeBron James has risen to challenge his standing in the minds of many.
Meanwhile, many others have scoffed at Kobe Bryant being left out of the conversation.
The debates will likely never end as each player has their own very passionate fan base who will argue their merits and each comes from different generations. In the eyes of the current NBA players, however, it’s still Jordan by a long shot.
Sam Amick of The Athletic recently polled 117 current NBA players and they narrowly voted James ahead of Bryant — but both far behind Jordan — as the NBA’s greatest player of all time:
1. Michael Jordan (73%)
2. LeBron James (11.9%)
3. Kobe Bryant (10.6%)
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1.7%)
5. Magic Johnson, Allen Iverson, Kevin Durant (1%)
It is clearly going to take even more for James to surpass Jordan in the eyes of the current players, but it is interesting to note that they see him slightly ahead of Bryant. Some of that could have to do with it being current players as all generations tend to favor their own and those who they played against.
Each player certainly has their own argument. Jordan dominated his generation and was undefeated in six NBA Finals appearances while notching a number of scoring records. Bryant’s desire and will to beat his opponents was unmatched and his ability to score in every way possible was amazing. James is likely the most physically gifted player ever and when his career is all said and done, he will likely have the best stats of all three.
Regardless of who is truly the best, it is the constant debate and arguments that make following the NBA great and these will not be ending anytime soon.