“And that upsets me,” Rick Barry questions Michael Jordan’s position in the GOAT debate

Rick Barry is one of the NBA’s finest players in history, but he once went out of the box by not mentioning Michael Jordan as the GOAT despite his gigantic achievements. Barry’s stance is worth understanding, especially when comparing players across different positions in basketball.

In an interview with Paul Arizin, Barry said, “I keep hearing he’s the greatest, and that upsets me. It’s not right for other players. Comparing a shooting guard to a center is like comparing apples to oranges. Each position brings something special to the game. Jordan was undoubtedly the best shooting guard I’ve seen and a truly thrilling player to watch.”

Barry said that each position on the court demanded unique skills and responsibilities. He firmly believed that trying to rank players across these diverse roles inevitably led to biased and unfair judgments. However, Barry didn’t ignore Michael Jordan’s brilliance as a shooting guard.

Barry has always been outspoken about GOAT discussions. When asked if he considers himself a GOAT, he responded emphatically, “No, no, no. First of all, that’s not fair when people do that. There’s no clear ‘best player in a sport.’ It’s more about the best player in their position. Comparing a center to a forward or a guard to a point guard is like comparing apples to oranges. It’s similar to baseball, where you can’t compare Willie Mays directly to Sandy Koufax it just doesn’t make sense.”

Meanwhile, the GOAT debate in the NBA going to rage on and there has been yet another voting poll on the ever-tuning debate.

NBA Players Votes for the GOAT Debate between Michael Jordan and LeBron James

In a recent survey conducted among NBA players, the discussion about the Greatest of All Time gained significant attention, with Michael Jordan narrowly surpassing LeBron James.

According to the survey, which was conducted by The Athletic that gathered responses from 142 players between March 5 and April 11, opinions were nearly divided between Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Out of 133 votes, Michael Jordan secured 61 votes, while LeBron James received 56. This close margin indicates a narrow lead for Michael Jordan in successive surveys, with the current difference at 3.8%.

Interestingly, there has been a shift in voting patterns over time. In the 2019 poll, Jordan held a significant lead with 73% of the votes compared to LeBron’s 11.9%. However, this gap narrowed last year, owing to a surge in LeBron’s popularity among players.

What you think of the GOAT debate and where does your allegiance lie?

SZ Desk

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