For several decades now Michael Jordan has been widely regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time. Although many have done well in the NBA since his retirement, no one has exceeded his accomplishments.
The real debate that has lingered for several years now is who comes after Jordan.
Some believe it is LeBron James, others argue it is Kobe Bryant. Even Jordan himself ventured to weigh in on that back-and-forth at one point.
This week, newly-signed Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony delved into the complex discussion.
During a recent episode of Barstool Sports podcast Million Dollaz Worth Of Game, Anthony was asked to construct his ultimate 12-person NBA roster. The only rule was that he couldn’t include Jordan – as that was an obvious one. Anthony’s answer was telling.
Anthony ultimately selected Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, himself, Kevin Garnett, and Hakeem Olajuwon. The notable omission? James.
Read into that what you will.
Anthony didn’t exclude James from the list altogether. Rather, he included his new teammate alongside Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, and Shaquille O’Neal in the second unit. The two remaining slots went to Allen Iverson and Julius Erving.
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 24, 2021
Interestingly enough, a while back, Jerry West, the man who brought Bryant to the Lakers had a very different take on who was better. And of course Bryant himself was very open on who’d win a 1-on-1 battle between himself and James.
Clearly there is no right or wrong answer here. James and Bryant are two of the greatest basketball players of all time. That said, it is very interesting that Anthony, a guy who has played against and with both over the course of his lengthy pro career, would prefer to play in a starting unit alongside Bryant over James.