Stephen A. Smith says LeBron James plays in the softest era of the NBA and thus is not the GOAT, thereby slamming Isiah Thomas’ MJ stance.
In a debate that feels as old as time itself, the discussion on who the greatest NBA player of all time is, continues.
With LeBron James being one win away from winning his 4th ring, the discussion on whether LeBron James will surpass Michael Jordan as the ‘GOAT’ rages on.
Due to LeBron James’s excellent performances in these Finals and all throughout the Playoofs, Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas took to social media to claim LeBron James has already surpassed Jordan to be the undisputed GOAT.
Also read: ‘LeBron James is the GOAT, not Michael Jordan’: Isiah Thomas explains why Lakers star is better than MJ
This statement by Thomas did not sit well with Stephen A. Smith.
Stephen A. Smith doesn’t believe LeBron James is the GOAT
In the most recent edition of ESPN’s Fist Take, Stephen A. Smith claimed that he was unhappy with the fact that Isiah Thomas recently came out in favour of LeBron James being considered the GOAT.
Smith condemned Isiah’s statements by saying, “What I find so blasphemous is that Isiah Thomas ignores what era he played in. It was a very physical and volatile environment when Jordan played.”
He continues on by claiming that this era that LeBron James plays in is much too soft, when compared to the 80s and 90s.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 8, 2020
Stephen A. Smith uses this reasoning to reject Isiah Thomas’s take on who the GOAT is.
Does LeBron James play in the softest era of the NBA?
There is no denying that there is some validity to Stephen A. Smith’s statements as the NBA officiating nowadays calls almost anything action that has resulted in contact.
The NBA’s foul calls revolve around protecting the shooter and making sure he does not have any contact made with him whatsoever.
Players such as James Harden and Jimmy Butler use the lenient officiating of this era to reach the charity stripe atleast 10 or 12 times a game.
Compared to the borderline brutal fouls that were not being called back in Michael Jordan’s day, officiating nowadays is quite ‘soft’.