NBA Legend Says LeBron’s Generation Has Athletes ‘Far Superior’ Than Those of Michael Jordan’s

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

In a new interview, basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas said that current NBA stars don’t receive the proper amount of credit for their performances, specifically citing Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James among that group.

Thomas spoke with Fox Sports Radio’s Chris Broussard about different topics, including how Michael Jordan is still perceived as the greatest basketball player ever. Thomas made the point that a number of current players, including James, are underrated and compare favorably to Jordan.

“I think this generation is not getting enough credit for what they’re doing because the athletes that are in this generation are so far superior than what was in my generation,” Thomas said. “Jordan by far was the best athlete that we had ever seen. From an athletic standpoint, there are like 10 or 11 guys in the NBA right now with Jordan’s athleticism. We didn’t have that back then. … What KD (Kevin Durant) and what LeBron [James] is doing. If you put them back in the era of the ’80s with their talent, their athleticism and their skill, and they’re the best athletes of that generation like Jordan is? Who’s the G.O.A.T.?”

The subject of Jordan’s legacy has taken on greater focus because of the ESPN documentary, “The Last Dance,” which looks at the Jordan era with the Chicago Bulls and focuses on that team’s final championship season in 1997-98.

Critics will no doubt point to the fact that there’s little love lost between Thomas and Jordan, who battled each other during their playing days. That animosity, at least from Jordan’s perspective, came through in the documentary and is something that Thomas likely hasn’t forgotten.

Still, every era has seen a generation of players replace past legends in the eyes of the public. Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain supplanted players like George Mikan, while Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson took over the spots of Russell and Chamberlain in many fans’ minds.

Therefore, it’s only natural for players like James and Durant to move into the newest discussion of greatest players ever and fuel a debate that will never end.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.