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Isiah Thomas still finds ways to fire shots at his longtime rival, Michael Jordan, by declaring LeBron James the eventual GOAT in basketball.
Isiah Thomas made the coveted NBA75 list alongside LeBron James and Michael Jordan, but Thomas only considers one of them to be basketball’s GOAT — and it isn’t Jordan.
Thomas joined ESPN’s First Take to discuss how James is easily one of the greatest all-around players of all time.
By the time he retires, there’s a strong possibility James could be exclusively considered the greatest all-around player in NBA history.
“We’ve never seen a player who has so thoroughly dominated in every statistical category,” Thomas said.
Thomas regards Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the two greatest all-around players who dominated the game for 20 years. But once James edges beyond Abdul-Jabbar in scoring, he will become the undisputed GOAT, according to Thomas.
Isiah Thomas excludes Michael Jordan from the GOAT conversation as LeBron James is named eventual GOAT
Notably, Thomas failed to mention Michael Jordan in his debate over the greatest to ever do it. Although Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest basketball player in NBA history, there are many who dispute Jordan’s claim to the throne.
Isiah Thomas is one of the more prominent names to dispute this, but there’s more than LeBron’s stats motivating him to select James over Jordan. Thomas is considered one of the greatest point guards of all time, winning back-to-back championships with the Detroit Pistons, but his bitter rivalry with the Bulls — and with Jordan — kept him from winning more.
In every sport, analysts will dissect what qualifies one player over another as the greatest of all time. In a sport like basketball, it makes sense to anoint the greatest all-around player as the greatest of them all, as they rank near the top in every statistical category and skill—but that’s likely not what is really motivating Thomas’ argument.