Lakers great Jerry West, also known as the NBA Logo, has done everything you could think of in the game of basketball.
He’s won as a player and an executive. He’s also landed some of the biggest free agents and draft picks in league history.
Who can forget his 1996 haul, when he landed Shaquille O’ Neal via free agency and traded for Kobe Bryant in that year’s draft. Those two would lead a dynasty, three-peat as champions and become one of the best duos the league has ever seen. But if you ask Jerry West who his favorite player ever is, he won’t be naming either of those NBA legends.
Instead, West named Michael Jordan, the guy often referred to as the GOAT.
While taking in NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas, West was asked who his favorite NBA player ever and he named “His Airness.”
“Probably my favorite player of all-time was Michael Jordan. A lot of other incredible players I know and frankly been involved with, but to me he epitomizes what I think is great in a basketball player. Someone who can play both ends of the court. His teams win. In the last quarter, he’s gonna be there.”
“More importantly, I love Michael like a brother. You get to spend time with him; he never changes. That’s why I like him.”
West is a smart man, and since he knew he couldn’t have Jordan in Los Angeles, he went out and drafted the next closest thing to him, Kobe Bryant. Kobe was his generation’s Jordan and dominated both ends of the floor during his illustrious career in Tinseltown.
NBA75 Member Damian Lillard Shares Those Same Sentiments
Unfortunately, the Jordan vs LeBron debate is way overblown and really isn’t one when you think about it. But having someone of West’s stature vouch for Jordan is just another notch in MJ’s favor.
Current NBA star and NBA75 member Damian Lillard was also interviewed at Summer League after signing a record two-year, $122 million extension with the Blazers.
“My NBA GOAT is Michael Jordan. It’s just different when you talk about MJ. On the floor, there’s just never been anybody like him. Nobody electrified the crowd like him. The Air Jordan shoe, rocking the cradle, walking in the air, you know, it’s Jordan. … I don’t think it’s too much of a debate as far as who’s the GOAT, and I would say it’s Jordan.”
“Bron, that’s definitely a conversation to be had, but I think most people will look at Jordan as the GOAT.”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 10, 2022
A Full Hall Of Fame Career Separates MJ And LeBron
When the debate of LeBron or MJ as GOAT comes up, hit the LeBron lovers with these simple facts. Jordan never switched teams, and he was a better defensive player than LeBron ever was. And if you want to go deeper, a full Hall of Fame career separates the two.
MJ has two more rings — six versus four — two more Finals MVPs — six versus four — one more DPOY — one versus none — one more NBA MVP — five versus four — four more All-Defensive first teams, nine more scoring titles, three more steals titles, and one more Slam Dunk title.
LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan: An Entire Hall Of Fame Career Still Separates Them
— Fadeaway World (@FadeawayWorld) October 14, 2020
That’s a Hall of Fame career separating the two legends.
So, one could see why West considers MJ his favorite basketball player of all time. Many probably believed it’d be someone he drafted, signed or traded for, but West can’t deny MJ’s greatness on the hardwood.