THE GOAT OR “G.O.A.T.”
This past February, the NFL crowned a new G.O.A.T., when Tom Brady led his Patriots back from a 28-3 deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, to win his fifth Super Bowl. The title, Greatest Of All Time, is now firm and undisputed in Brady’s hands.
That title in other sports is also undisputed; Golf has Jack Nicklaus, hockey has Wayne Gretzy, and basketball has Michael Jordan. This past week after LeBron James dispatched the Boston Celtics to qualify for his seventh consecutive NBA Finals appearance, some have begun to murmur about Jordan’s status as the “G.O.A.T”.
I’m here to safely state…no matter what James does against the Warriors in the Finals will change Jordan’s position on the mountain. He will continue to look down at the likes of Duncan, Kobe, Magic, Bird; and yes, even LeBron. Not even a four game sweep will change that.
Seven consecutive finals is impressive, Michael never did that, but even with a victory, his total in those seven will be 4-3. Michael was a perfect six for six. Appearances are nice, but getting the rings is what matters. James is 32 years old, so he does have a few more years to build the resume, but for now, he’s still looking up. This championship is a must for future consideration, and he’ll need at least two more after this to get him into a tie with his Airness. But even a sixth championship won’t get him there. He’ll need to do what he bragged about when he joined the Miami Heat, “Not five, not six, not seven…”.
For him to even be in the discussion, he must win more than Jordan’s six titles; which this one and at least three more. I suppose that if he’s able to string together five straight championships at the end of his career, taking him to age 36 or 37, and giving him a total of seven or eight titles, I’ll concede the point and transfer the title to LBJ, but until that time, he is on the outside looking into that all inclusive “G.O.A.T” club.
Let’s put it in perspective, as of today, he has the same titles as Larry Bird, and two titles BEHIND Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson…all this title would do in a couple of weeks is get him closer to THOSE greats. And I predict that in the next two weeks, there’s a larger chance that James becomes the goat again, and not the “G.O.A.T”. When the smoke clears and the Finals are over, James will still be sitting with three titles, (and a 3-5 record in the Finals), and there will be at least one moment people will look to and say, “see, that’s why he’ll NEVER be the “G.O.A.T”.
At some point someone may come along and overtake Jordan, it just won’t be LeBron James.
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