Former Houston Rockets star Clyde Drexler really wants you to stop listing LeBron James and Michael Jordan as the greatest players of all time.
It’s impossible to watch sports without drawing comparisons to players, as debates often ensue regarding players of the past and players of the present. We hear the debates all the time and we’ve heard quite a bit regarding the Houston Rockets of late. We had the James Harden vs. Stephen Curry debate this week, which shouldn’t be much of a debate at all.
We’ve also heard the Russell Westbrook vs. Damian Lillard debate for quite some time, which tips heavily in Westbrook’s favor. The most common debate we’ve seen of late has been the greatest player of all-time conversation, which most believe comes down to Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James.
Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey recently chimed in on this particular conversation, while changing the conversation to the “greatest human to ever play basketball.” But former Rockets guard Clyde Drexler takes issue with the goat conversation being centered around just Jordan and LeBron.
Rockets great Clyde Drexler takes issue with the greatest of all-time conversation.
Drexler was on SportsTalk 790’s The A-Team on Tuesday and explained why this is a flawed conversation.
“I have a real problem with that because out of all the guys that played the game, for you to have a conversation of these two guys as the goat, when you’ve got Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who are two of the greatest players that have ever lived.
I think you start with those two. And then you’ve got guys like Dr. J, Larry Bird, George Gervin, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West. All those guys are in the conversation so for people to bring this up today to me is just unbelievable. And I love Michael and LeBron but still let’s not take something away from those other guys who played.
How are you going to say somebody is better than those guys? I just don’t get it. It’s blasphemy at best. And it’s always by people who have never played the game, because people who played the game know better. You don’t put people ahead of people, nobody was better than those people.”
By and large, it’s certainly understandable to see where Drexler is coming from here, as the goat conversation naturally always leaves out someone. And part of the problem is that the conversation is generally being had by many people who didn’t live to see many of the players Drexler named.
Part of the reason why these comparisons exist between Jordan and LeBron is that they’re viewed as the greatest players of their eras, as Jordan dominated the 90s, and LeBron has dominated the 2010s. But whether Drexler agrees or not, it’s safe to say this conversation will forever exist, and especially as it pertains to these two.
We’re only going to get further away from the older eras of the NBA the more that time passes by. And recency bias is only going to continue as the younger basketball fans continue to trickle in.
In fact, the conversation will likely increase if LeBron happens to win another title or two, as many agree with Morey and already view him as the best player to ever play. So while Drexler is right that it’s disrespectful to disregard the greats, it’s only going to continue.