Magic Johnson Finally Picked a GOAT Between Michael Jordan and LeBron James Except He Really Didn't

Magic Johnson kind of picked who's the true GOAT between Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Magic Johnson kind of picked who's the true GOAT between Michael Jordan and LeBron James. / TIZIANA SORGE/Getty Images

While the hit ESPN documentary series "The Last Dance" brought us some great entertainment during this period without live team sports to watch, it did bring one negative externality along with it, however: the reemergence of the incessant Michael Jordan-LeBron James NBA GOAT debate. This never-ending argument always brings out the worst in everyone, because no one is ever prepared to accept another's opinion as valid.

Leave it to Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson to ride the fence on who he thinks is the true GOAT. The Hall of Fame point guard expressed his belief that LeBron is the better all-around player, but that Jordan is "the greatest ever."

So... that's not a definitive answer whatsoever. Thanks for nothing, Magic!

Yet, Johnson perfectly encapsulates the conundrum in choosing why "His Airness" or "King James" is the best basketball player of all time. Both played in completely different eras; Jordan played during a time in which players couldn't play zone defense but were absolutely allowed to knock each other to the ground and even fight, from the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons to the Pat Riley Knicks. Meanwhile, James is part of an era that is far from hard-hitting, and has embraced a full-on long-distance barrage from three-point range.

All told, Jordan will go down as the greatest winner in NBA history thanks to his 6-0 recod in the Finals. When the lights shined the brightest, MJ always delivered in the clutch. As for LeBron, he possesses freakish athleticism that we'll likely never see in a player again, but he still needs to achieve more if he truly wants to be on the Jumpman's level for all time.

Whichever guy you think is better, stick with it. Embrace it. Don't try to qualify and hedge. That just isn't any fun.