As LeBron James’ career progresses and he continues to climb the all-time leaderboards in NBA history, the greatest of all-time debate between he and Michael Jordan will only get more contentious. To some, he’s already there. For others, he’s close. But for many, he’ll never stand a chance of passing Jordan.
You can count Allen Iverson among those that will never put LeBron or anyone else ahead of Jordan. The Hall of Famer recently penned a piece for the Players’ Tribune to try and tell some stories about himself that aren’t the ones everyone’s heard — you know, practice, Ty Lue, etc. — and let his fans and detractors know a little more about him.
One of the stories leads off by him explaining that LeBron can never surpass Jordan in his eyes and no amount of argument on LeBron’s behalf, no matter how strong the stats are, can change his mind. As Iverson explained, “We’re talking about Black Jesus himself,” when discussing Jordan, and he offered up his favorite Michael Jordan story.
No, it’s not when he crossed him over. Iverson’s story goes to All-Star 2003 in Atlanta, Jordan’s final All-Star Game, when Iverson decided to put together an outfit of a Jordan throwback with a Bulls fitted cap to pay homage to the legend he’d be playing with that night. As Iverson tells it, he arrived, eager to get Jordan’s approval for his fit but couldn’t find him anywhere in the locker room. Eventually, he found him, all alone in the coaches’ office, doing the most Jordan thing imaginable.
It’s just Mike, and man….. you wouldn’t even believe this. You wouldn’t even believe what I’m seeing. It’s Mike, and he’s got his uniform on……. and he’s in one of those reclining desk chairs, leaning back in that thing like he doesn’t have a CARE in the WORLD. In the world. Got his feet kicked up like he’s on some beach! And then to top it all off?? He’s smoking one of those big-ass Mike cigars.
And he just looks at me — looks over my fit for a second — and he smiles.
And then he goes right on back to puffing that cigar.
First off, this is both extremely awesome and completely believable. I love that Jordan was just ripping a cigar in full uniform right before he was set to play in his last All-Star Game. Iverson explains that this is the best example he can give of Mike’s effortless coolness, which for him absolutely factors into the GOAT equation. He begs readers to end the GOAT conversation and not question “Black Jesus, that man, walking among us.”