Doc Rivers Weighs In on LeBron James vs Michael Jordan Debate

LeBron James, Doc Rivers

Getty LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Doc Rivers of the LA Clippers react to a free throw during a 116-102 Clipper win at Staples Center on March 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

The never-ending debate of who the greatest basketball player of all time is will likely always live on. It sparks strong reactions from people everywhere and Doc Rivers is no different. As the Sixers traveled to Los Angeles to face off with LeBron James and the Lakers, Rivers was asked to weigh in on who he believes is the best player in the history of the sport.

“I think he’s going to have the greatest career of all time,” Rivers said of James. “I think he’s already had it. And that’s not … I think Michael [Jordan] is the greatest of all time, but that doesn’t take anything away from LeBron. LeBron’s had the greatest career,” per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

Sixers Take Down Lakers to Continue Hot Streak

James put forth an impressive effort in the matchup with the Sixers, tieing Joel Embiid with a game-high 35 points along with 10 assists and eight rebounds. The 38-year-old was an efficient 15-23 from the field and had his fingerprints all over the matchup. The Sixers managed to secure the narrow 113-112 victory with James likely wishing he had attempted to add another game-winner to his resume as Russell Westbrook was unable to deliver.

This victory marked the Sixers’ 15th victory in their past 19 games bringing their record to 27-16 on the year. They are now tied for third place in the Eastern Conference with the Milwaukee Bucks and are just a half-game back from the Brooklyn Nets in second place. Even more notable than the results in the win column, there have been some massive strides forward in the chemistry between Embiid and James Harden.

Rivers Experience vs the Legends

Few people have as much experience around the NBA as Rivers. He has firsthand experience against each of these NBA legends both as a player and coach. Rivers faced off against Michael Jordan during his effective 14-year playing career before the current Sixers head coach stepped to the other side of the line. Jordan was 23-17 in matchups against Rivers while both players were on the court.

While he retired before James’ arrival in the NBA in 2003, Rivers also has plenty of experience facing off against James during his time coaching. Throughout their 48 matchups, James has gone 28-20 against when facing Rivers as a head coach. During his time coaching the Sixers, James has been unable to secure a victory in all three matchups.

While it may seem like a cop-out to take both sides on his answer, Rivers brings up some great points regarding the legacy of the superstars. James will continue chasing the championships and perhaps unattainable legacy of Jordan, but the long-term success he continually produces is unmatched. Both have legitimate cases and will rightfully go down as some of the best players to play the game when it is all said and done.

Rivers and the Sixers will have their focus on continuing to reach their goals for the season with some rejuvenated hope moving forward. Now past the midway point of the year and back at full strength, Philadelphia is set to be put to the test moving forward. They have a brutal stretch of games in the second half of the season which will go a long way toward this team figuring out its own identity.

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