Let’s just appreciate greatness instead of debate it
The ‘who is greatest player of all time’ conversation has plagued the internet as far back as I can remember, and I’m here to end this conversation once and for all.
This was an especially hot topic on Twitter last weekend during the Super Bowl. The storyline coming into the game forced this conversation onto sports fan again. Mahomes vs Brady, the baby goat vs the established goat. Who is better?
My answer to this question is always something along the lines of: it’s subjective and I don’t care.
How are we even supposed to measure individual greatness in team sports? Career wins? Championships? MVP awards? Total points?
Arguably, the most popular goat debate is whether the greatest NBA player of all time is Michael Jordan or Lebron James.
Let’s look at the points of measurement I mentioned:
The most career wins, MVP wins, and total points scored belong to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
How about total rings? Well, that goes to Bill Russel.
When we put numbers aside, everything becomes subjective. Numbers don’t account for impact on the game, what they were up against, the era in time, or who was around them.
MJ fans might argue that winning in the NBA was much tougher in that era. You’d turn on a game and see Isiah Thomas body slamming Jordan, while Scottie Pippen’s lifeless body is getting dragged off the court by a referee because Bill Laimbeer elbowed him in the face and knocked him out.
Some people might say Lebron had to play better teams with less talent on his own, and that it’s always been tough to win in the NBA. Or maybe the fact that he hasn’t acknowledged Skip Bayless’s existence in 18 years should be part of the conversation.
Tom Brady now has seven Super Bowl rings. One could argue that alone makes him the goat. Others have argued that Tom Brady happened to have a great defense around him throughout his career and that’s why he’s been so successful. I’m not going to sit here and pick apart each of Brady’s Super Bowl wins.
Like I said before, there are so many elements that go into being a great athlete, deciding which are the most important is up to the individual person. Tom Brady’s seven rings doesn’t make Joe Montana or Peyton Manning’s careers any less valuable to football. Patrick Mahomes doesn’t have to win six more Super Bowls to have had a successful NFL career.
The truth is that it doesn’t make a difference, it doesn’t matter, and the conversation is frankly a waste of time. The term ‘greatest of all time’ has different meanings to different people and has no definitive answer.
Tom Brady can be a great QB, but so can Patrick Mahomes.
Michael Jordan’s success doesn’t take away from Lebron’s.
There are much more interesting conversations to have as sports fans. Many times, this conversation involves someone discounting the success of a great player. We don’t need to keep having his conversation over and over every time a great athlete does something great.