Basketball fans love to debate the credentials of the various players in the discussion for being the greatest of all time. Thanks to the official NBA Instagram account, we learned that the debate is also had by players who are bored while they sit on the bench during the All-Star Game.
Two of the big men on Steph Curry‘s All-Star squad, Joel Embiid and Al Horford, were sitting on the bench while the game was going on. Instead of sitting down and discussing strategy or anything like that, Embiid thought it’d be cool to pick Horford’s brain about the debate surrounding which player is the G.O.A.T.
Embiid started by asking about Michael Jordan, who he admits he never saw play. The Sixers’ big man then started breaking down why he doesn’t necessarily think Jordan is the best player ever based on statistics.
“When I look at numbers and all that, like, Wilt [Chamberlain],” Embiid said. “I don’t know why everybody’s always saying that he played against short people, but looking at his videos and stuff, he was so freaking athletic. He would’ve been able to play in any era, jump over anybody.”
Horford agreed, then Embiid dove into the importance of championships in this debate, and acknowledged that when looking at things through that lens, the answer has to be Bill Russell. The pair also agreed that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s credentials earn him a spot on the list.
It’s a legitimately cool discussion between the two — Embiid seems really interested in learning about the history of the game, while Horford is taking it all in and adding little points every now and then. Debate shows on television are usually terrible, but this made me realize I could very much go for a limited-run debate show involving NBA players debating whether M.J. is the best basketball player ever, preferably if Embiid is involved.