In a recent poll conducted by The Athletic, 103 current NBA players were asked who they believe is the greatest basketball player of all time. The results showed that 58.3% of the players voted for Michael Jordan, while LeBron James received 33% of the votes. Other notable mentions included Kobe Bryant (6.8%), Bill Russell (1%), and Tracy McGrady (1%).
Anonymous Poll of NBA Players Finds Michael Jordan is Their GOAT
Although Jordan still holds the majority vote, the gap between him and LeBron is shrinking. Four years ago, when The Athletic conducted a similar poll, Jordan received a whopping 73% of the votes, with LeBron trailing at just 11.9%. This significant decrease in the gap can be attributed to several factors. Now, he holds just 58% of the vote, with LeBron James closing the gap at 33%.
Five players received a vote for GOAT in our anonymous NBA player poll.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 18, 2023
Firstly, LeBron has continued to add to his impressive list of accomplishments, including winning his fourth NBA title with a third team and surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the league’s career points leader. Furthermore, as new players enter the league, many of them have grown up watching LeBron dominate the NBA. One player who voted for LeBron simply stated, “I grew up in the 2000s.”
“Give Me MJ for The Game Winner”
Despite LeBron’s growing influence on younger generations, Jordan’s perfect 6-for-6 NBA Finals record still holds a lot of weight for many players.
One player who voted for Jordan said, “Definitely 6-for-6 [in the Finals] is a big thing for me. But the way I look at basketball, it’s about the winning, and if I feel like I need somebody to go win me a game, I’m picking M.J. over everybody.”
As the NBA continues to evolve and new players make their mark, the debate over who the GOAT is will likely persist. However, it is clear that Michael Jordan’s legendary status remains firmly entrenched in the minds of many current NBA players.
Only time will tell if LeBron’s ongoing success and impact on the game can eventually change the tide in his favor. Until then, let’s appreciate the greatness of both these incredible athletes who have each left an indelible mark on the sport of basketball.