NBA’s GOAT Starting Five
It’s time to break down who is the greatest NBA player at each position. The GOAT debate between Michael Jordan and LeBron James continues to recycle every day and it’s forced upon fans from big platforms in ESPN and other networks. If you ask me, it is time to show appreciation for others who have shown excellence at their position.
NBA: The GOAT Starting Five
One of the greatest players to ever suit up for the purple and gold. Earvin Magic Johnson changed the entire perception of how the Lakers are viewed. Johnson simply brought more flavor to the franchise that eventually made the organization more popular around Hollywood. Through the course of the 1980s, Johnson was going back and forth with Larry Bird as the best player in the NBA. As his career came to a close, he arguably outdueled Bird as the better player with more accolades.
Johnson’s numerous NBA Finals runs with the Lakers allow him to be known as the greatest point guard to ever live. Sure, he played alongside James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. But there weren’t and still aren’t many players that are 6’9 who can handle and pass the ball the way he does. Johnson having his skillset along with winning five championships allowed him to be number one on the majority all-time point guards list.
After the era where Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Isiah Thomas dominated, it was Michael Jordan’s turn in the 1990s. After finally overcoming the Detroit Pistons in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, it was finally Jordan’s time to dominate the NBA. Jordan would continue to gain more respect around the NBA the more he won championships throughout the years.
Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player for a reason. He was tenaciously gifted on both ends of the floor while going undefeated in the NBA Finals. If he didn’t take a year and a half off to play baseball, there’s an argument that the Bulls could have won eight straight championships. Jordan had the rest of the NBA in a chokehold with the way he dominated throughout the 90s.
The King is arguably one of the most complete players the NBA has ever seen. If one were to combine both Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan into one player, it’d be LeBron James. James has been one of the NBA’s best players for over two decades now and continues to ascend heading into year 19.
To many, James is not ahead of Michael Jordan due to his poor finals record. Despite being 4-6, no one can fail to appreciate the fact that he led his teams to eight consecutive NBA Finals. The energy and dedication it takes to continue to play at that level is what makes James so great. Heading into his 19th season, James remains as one of the top five players in the NBA.
Tim Duncan has respect amongst NBA legends because of his approach to the game. He doesn’t walk into the game looking to make the flashiest plays, but to get the job done. Through his 19 year career, his mindset to win allowed the San Antonio Spurs to become a dynasty through two decades.
Duncan’s resume speaks for himself. He is a five-time NBA Champion, three-time Finals MVP, and the 2002-03 NBA MVP. Having to compete during the dominance of Shaq and Kobe, Duncan continued to hold his own and kept his team afloat throughout the years. Even if a person takes away his stats and accolades, Duncan is one of the winningest players in NBA history.
The GOAT could be a mix-up of several players in Kareem, Wilt, Hakeem, etc. But Bill Russell’s 11 championship rings stand out to where he is the most dominant center in NBA history. Russell’s dominance and duel against Wilt Chamberlain have allowed him to earn his respect amongst NBA greats.
There may not ever be a player in NBA history that will ever capture 11 championships or more. The accolade speaks to how well Russell played and what a great leader he was during the 1960s.
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