It’s time to get over it: LeBron James isn't the GOAT

Stephen A. Smith is still right about one thing these days, and that’s Michael Jordan’s superiority

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Image for article titled It’s time to get over it: LeBron James isn't the GOAT
Photo: AP

It isn’t often that I agree with Stephen A. Smith. But this time, I must admit he’s right in his assessment of LeBron James and his camp. Smith appeared on Paul George’s Podcast P show and told a story about an interaction with James’ agent/business partner/friend, Rich Paul. SAS says Paul gives him a hard time because he won’t relent on LeBron’s No. 2 ranking in the all-time GOAT debate.

Stephen A. to Rich Paul regarding James’ all-time ranking: “Get the f**k out of my face.”


Surely, that was said in jest, as all these guys are cool and get along well. It wasn’t meant with any real animosity toward Paul. It sounds like Smith said it out of annoyance more than anything. He’s right when he says they can’t accept being second. This is understandable because James is a competitor and one of the best we’ve ever seen in sports.


However, most fans still view Michael Jordan as the GOAT, which does not sit well with James’ entourage. Plenty of polls and studies have been done, and Jordan usually comes out on top, with LeBron in second place. It’s well known that most players at that level want to be and see themselves as No. 1. However, Smith’s opinion, which aligns with millions upon millions of others, can’t be denied.

Ultimately, it is Smith’s opinion, and no one has to agree. But it’s like Paul feels James is entitled to that spot in history. Maybe it’s because James was the “chosen one” from age 16 (R.I.P. Grant Wahl) and surpassed all the hype. To his credit, The King has done everything he was supposed to do and then some. James has done almost everything right, only hitting minor speed bumps along the way. Overall, he’s been that dude and deserves all the accolades that have come with it.

LeBron has earned his place in the conversation, but that doesn’t entitle him to that crown. James and his crew don’t need to accept it; they’ve just got to live in the reality surrounding them. Most people don’t view him as the greatest NBA player ever. SAS is one of those people, and as long as he has this huge platform, he’ll continue to sing the praises of Mr. Jordan from the mountaintop. Rich and LeBron aren’t obligated to accept, it’s just something they have to live with.