Trae Young’s dad makes stark comparison between LeBron James and Michael Jordan after watching Lakers star go off

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

Ray Young, the father of Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, offered high praise for LeBron James after the Los Angeles Lakers delivered a huge performance against the Hawks on Friday night.

The elder Young made clear that he still considers himself an avid Michael Jordan fan and believes that Jordan remains the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) in basketball. However, the fact that he’s willing to acknowledge that James belongs in the conversation is a tribute to the Laker veteran.

In the game against the Hawks, James celebrated his 38th birthday with a double-double, scoring 47 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. In addition, he narrowly missed a triple-double by dishing out nine assists, leading to rave reviews on social media.

Now in his 20th NBA season, James has delivered plenty of similar performances over the course of his legendary career. Yet, coming at a time when few players are still competing at such a high level, the effort was remarkable.

The elder Young appears to have been at the game to watch his son, with the younger Young’s solid performance overshadowed by James. Finishing with 29 points, eight assists, three rebounds and a steal, the younger Young ended up as the game’s second-leading scorer.

When Jordan began his NBA career in 1984, the generally accepted greatest basketball player ever was considered to be Boston Celtics great Bill Russell. Jordan slowly chipped away at that notion over the years, though there are some who still consider Russell to be at the top.

James arrived in the NBA just after Jordan had retired for the third and final time in 2003. Like Jordan, James managed to produce at such a high level that discussions naturally began about whether Jordan or James is the best player ever.

It’s likely that few Jordan fans consider James to rank above their idol, with the usual litmus test being the number of NBA titles won between them. Jordan won six while James has only won four.

However, James has led three different franchises to a total of 10 appearances in the finals. Those Jordan fans will emphasize the six final defeats for James’ teams, conveniently forgetting the team concept that James was unable to control.

Undoubtedly, debates such as these will continue for years to come. However, when it comes to the elder Young, it’s hard not to consider James when he offers clear evidence of his greatness.

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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.