Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was named one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history this past season.
That distinction puts the 31-year-old in rarified air.
It also affords him the privilege of being able to comment on the NBA’s contentious GOAT debate from a place of authority. Some believe that Michael Jordan is the best to ever do it. Others think it is LeBron James.
This week, Lillard offered his two cents.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 10, 2022
“My NBA GOAT is Michael Jordan,” Lillard said.
“It’s just different when you talk about MJ. On the floor, it’s just never been nobody like him. Nobody electrified the crowd like him. The Air Jordan shoe, rocking the cradle, walking in air, you know, it’s Jordan. Two-three on his back.
“I don’t think it’s too much of a debate as far as who’s the GOAT, and I would say it’s Jordan. Bron, that’s definitely a conversation to be had, but I think most people will look at Jordan as the GOAT.”
It’s hard to argue with Lillard’s rationale.
Many have weighed in on this conversation over the years. Scottie Pippen has done it, giving the nod to James. Julius “Dr. J” Erving has done it. Allen Iverson has done it. Floyd Mayweather has done it. Shawn Kemp has done it. Once upon a time, former President Donald Trump did it, too.
A lot of opinions have been put forth, but none definitive.
No wonder Zach Wilson is so close with his mom. https://t.co/BoX6ZacIKf
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 10, 2022
Time will ultimately tell who history looks back upon as the consensus NBA GOAT. Another title would certainly help James’ case.
In any event, a final answer to this question likely won’t emerge for at least another decade.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.