LeBron James Once Revealed Why Michael Jordan Wouldn’t Have Existed as Anonymous Poll Threaten MJ’s Goat Status

The Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James GOAT debate is an age-old conversation. But it continues to turn heads and attract eyeballs even today. Despite being retired for over two decades, MJ has remained many players’ GOAT because of the impact he had on the game of basketball when he suited up for the Chicago Bulls. But for the first time, Jordan’s GOAT status among NBA players has been threatened by King James. And on top of that, LeBron once revealed why MJ would not even have existed had it not been for the superstardom of Julius Erving.

In a poll conducted last year among 103 NBA players, 58.3% picked Jordan as their GOAT compared to only 33% picking LeBron. While LeBron and MJ garnered the majority of the votes, only 6.8% voted for Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. However, the story this year is slightly different. The same anonymous poll was conducted between 133 NBA players this time, and Jordan’s share dropped to 45.9%. Although the 6-time Champion remained the majority’s GOAT, LeBron came extremely close to defeating him at 42.1%. It looks like players have finally started taking LeBron’s longevity into consideration for the GOAT debate.

But all these GOAT debates might have been meaningless if the original legend, Julius Erving, had not paved the way for them.

via Getty

Erving was Michael Jordan before Michael Jordan. Even LeBron James acknowledged Doctor J’s impact on the game during an old interview, If Doctor J hadn’t existed, probably neither did Michael Jordan. And therefore, I would not have been a basketball player. According to LeBron, the influence of Erving motivated superstars like Jordan and himself to achieve greatness on the hardwood.


The legend of Doctor J

Apart from having one of the coolest nicknames in NBA history, Doctor J was also one of the most influential players to ever step foot on the court. His aura was unmatched, and his game made fans believe that anything was possible. Erving began dominating the game years before the ABA-NBA merger. Who can forget his iconic free-throw line dunk in the 1976 ABA slam dunk contest? Even legends like Magic Johnson and Isaiah Thomas turned into children when they watched Doctor J go up in the air for a dunk.


Erving was one of the few superstars to win Championships in both ABA and NBA. He won two rings in the ABA and further added another to his tally after leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a title in 1983. His individual accolades were no less. Erving’s magic mesmerized the crowd for sixteen years, and he became one of the few legends to make the All-Star team every year of his career. Fans also understood how important Erving was for his teams as he bagged 4 MVP trophies in those 16 years.

To this day, Julius Erving is a myth who had the ability to fill arenas just with his mere presence. And LeBron James might be right in saying that Michael Jordan might not have become what he became if Doctor J had not shown everyone what was possible.

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