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No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama, who many have described as the best prospect since James, was among the players who picked the L.A. star.
Amusingly, Lakers newcomer Jalen Hood-Schifino, who the team selected at No. 17 overall in Thursday’s draft, picked Jordan.
Of course, the James vs. Jordan debate has been ongoing for years, with folks often split on who the greatest player of all time is. The fact that so many rookies went with James over Jordan could be a sign of the times, as many of them likely grew up watching James and are too young to remember’s Jordan’s playing days.
Hood-Schifino may think that Jordan has the edge over James, but the youngster will now get a chance to help the 38-year-old add to his legacy. They’re going to be Lakers teammates moving forward, and if Hood-Schifino gets playing time as a rookie, he may find himself immediately tasting the NBA’s title race in the 2023-24 season.
James hinted at retirement after L.A.’s 2022-23 season came to an end, but the expectation is that he’ll return for the 2023-24 campaign. Assuming he does, he’ll have a chance to add to his 19 All-Star selections, 19 All-NBA nods and four NBA titles.
The future Hall of Famer would need a couple of special years in order to catch Jordan’s six NBA titles, but nothing is impossible.
In the meantime, the Lakers are looking to use the 2023 offseason as a chance to get their roster a little bit closer to a championship. The team was good enough to make it to the 2023 Western Conference Finals but seemingly had a ceiling, and that was it.
When James finally does retire, conversations about him and Jordan will likely continue for many years. Everyone has a take, and it seems like the NBA’s newest rookies are no different.