Isiah Thomas is one of the greatest point guards to ever play in the NBA. He played for the Bad Boy Pistons in the ’80s and ’90s and was one of the biggest hurdles that Michael Jordan had to get over before he won his first championship. Isiah is also a 2-time champion and is the only person to beat Larry Bird and the Celtics, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar together, and Michael Jordan all in their prime and then go on to win a championship.
Yesterday Isiah Thomas made an appearance on First Take, a sports show on ESPN, and had a debate with his good friend and ESPN analyst Stephen A Smith. On January 9 2022 Isiah put out a tweet letting the world know who his goat is,
— Isiah Thomas (@IsiahThomas) January 9, 2022
Isiah has also tweeted that LeBron is the greatest all-around player of all time. And he isn’t wrong. Soon LeBron will be the only player with 30000 points, 10000 rebounds, and 10000 assists. He is only 38 assists away from accomplishing that (he has 9962 assists right now). Isiah said Kareem is at the top now but once LeBron breaks the scoring record, he has to be acknowledged as the GOAT.
Stephen A. argued that the physicality that Jordan went through especially to beat the Bad Boy Pistons. The hand-checking rules and how much easier it has become to be an offensive player in this league. His main point of argument was that Jordan’s path to prosperity was tougher than LeBron’s and that LeBron went to Miami and created a super team to win his first Championship.
Isiah responded by saying that Jordan never went against teams that were better than his teams. Jordan always had the best team going into the Finals while the only time LeBron’s team was favoured was against Dallas in 2011 when he came short and had one of the worst games of his career.
Something that people do not consider is the importance of coaching and the front office when it comes to winning. Jordan had a great team put around him by GM Jerry Krause and had one of the greatest coaches ever in Phil Jackson. LeBron has never had that except in Miami. He never had a supporting cast that could help him win or make his team the best team and the best coach he played for was Eric Spoelstra. While it is difficult to compare eras and circumstances, one thing I know is that both Michael Jordan and LeBron James are some of the greatest players ever and we are lucky to have witnessed that greatness.