It’s possibly the most contentious debate in professional sports today. LeBron James or Michael Jordan? Who’s the greatest of all time? We’ll never have a definitive answer, but one of James’ former coaches recently cast his vote, and it’s not for who you might think. Former Cavaliers’ head coach David Blatt threw his former player to the side and picked Jordan as the GOAT.
David Blatt coached LeBron James for over a year
David Blatt served as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the entire 2014-15 season. It was his first head coaching job at the NBA level, and he made the most of it.
Blatt coached the Cavaliers to a No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and an NBA Finals berth. Cleveland lost just two postseason games in the East before losing to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals.
It was an impressive debut for the first-time NBA head coach, but one could argue the team’s success had more to do with Cleveland’s big three than Blatt himself. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love were all in the primes of their careers in 2015.
The Cavs fired Blatt halfway through the 2015-16 season and replaced him with Ty Lue. Lue ended up leading the team to a championship later that season. Blatt is evidently still jealous that he couldn’t bring Cleveland to the promised land. Or maybe he’s still upset at LeBron for getting him fired. Either way, Blatt just voted for Jordan over James as the greatest of all time.
Blatt gives his reason why Michael Jordan is better than LeBron James
Despite coaching LeBron James and witnessing his greatness up close, Blatt believes Michael Jordan is the NBA’s true GOAT. He could have some ulterior motives for stating that opinion, but a ton of basketball fans would agree with him.
Blatt recently spoke to Israel Hayom and expressed his Jordan preference. He also threw a subtle jab in James’ direction along the way.
“Michael Jordan is greater than LeBron James,” Blatt told Israel Hayom. “He won the most championships with one single team and did not focus on the ‘I’ but on the ‘us.’ But surely, in terms of ability and influence, they are both included in the top five best players in history.”
James led the Cavaliers in points, assists, and steals during Blatt’s only full season with the team, so Blatt’s comments on James caring more about himself than the team don’t add up. It’s possible Blatt knows some behind-the-scenes information about James that the public has yet to find out.
There is no right or wrong answer in the GOAT debate
Whether you’re team Jordan or team LeBron, there’s no statistic or story or single moment that proves one player is greater than the other. Jordan has the championships. LeBron has the all-around stats. Choose your preference.
The fact of the matter is there’s no time machine that can send LeBron James back in time to play against MJ in his prime. Then, and only then, could we dub one of the greats the true GOAT.
Until time travel is invented, however, we just have testimony from players and coaches who knew both superstars the best. Blatt spent an entire year and a half with James, and he still believes Jordan is definitively the greatest ever. Maybe that should tell us something. Or, maybe he’s still salty about how his tenure in Cleveland ended.