LeBron James recently made history (again) as he became the first NBA player to reach 40,000 career points. It’s one of the many records the NBA legend has set in his career, and despite the backlash he has faced over the years for different reasons, there are very few NBA players to accomplish what James has done in his 20-plus seasons in the NBA.

But is James the best athlete of all time?

Some would say no quickly because of Michael Jordan. The James-Jordan debate has been discussed for years due to their successes individually and what they have done with their teams. Jordan has more NBA titles (six), MVP awards (five), and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1988. But James has played in more NBA Finals (ten), won four titles with three different teams (Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers), and is the only player to be named to the All-Star team twenty times.

ESPN named Jordan the best North American athlete of the 20th century in 1999. This was a few years before James made his NBA debut (2003), and now that he’s put together a Hall of Fame career, it’s likely he would be near the top of the list. This list was also done before Tom Brady took over the NFL (drafted in 2000), and he’s one athlete that could rival James since both have won multiple titles, multiple MVP awards, and set various records. There are also legendary athletes like Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Wayne Gretzky who are considered all-time greats.

James will turn 40 at the end of the year and shows no signs of slowing down. It’s likely he won’t win another title (at least with the Lakers), but he’s still playing like he’s 25 years old, averaging 25.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.9 assists per contest this season.

Longevity is key to being an all-time great athlete, and James could play in the league for another three years. If he continues to set records and finds a way to win another title, it would be hard to argue against James not being the true GOAT.

_

Brian Jones is a veteran sports and entertainment writer based in Atlanta, GA. He previously worked for PopCulture.com and 247Sports and interviewed athletes and celebrities such as Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Eli Manning, Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Nia Long, DJ Khaled and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Brian also wrote for Bleacher Report and his articles have appeared on CBS Sports, Athlon Sports and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
X (Twitter): @brianjones_93 | LinkedIn

Keep up-to-date with us on all of our channels and social media accounts:

YouTube: http://youtube.com/Popternative
Instagram http://instagram.com/popternative
X: http://twitter.com/popternative
Facebook: https://facebook.com/popternative/
Spotify: https://goo.gl/nWtNHP
Apple Podcasts: https://goo.gl/y6tbA9