Big rings

Championships do not determine GOAT status


Photo by Kaitlyn Rogers

Graphic by Kaitlyn Rogers. Competition is the driving force behind progress and has brought human beings to astonishing accomplishments. This idea of competition is largely prevalent in sports.

Story by Logan Diggs, news editor

Many things in this world will simply never go away, no matter how much effort is put into avoiding or preventing them. One of these things is competition. Competition is the driving force behind progress and has brought human beings to astonishing accomplishments. This idea of competition is largely prevalent in sports. Because of competition, there are often debates over one player being better than another, or debates to determine who is the GOAT, or greatest of all time. 

Currently, professional athletes across the world are getting paid millions of dollars to compete against one another. In individual sports such as swimming or track, it is easy to specify who is the more reputable or successful athlete. On the other hand, it is much more difficult and complex to determine who is the greatest player among a team sport because as many have heard numerous times before, there is no “I” in team.

Michael Jordan, globally seen as the father of basketball, accomplished stunning feats, leaving his footprint in the basketball world forever. Racking up a total of six NBA championship rings while taking a break in the middle of his basketball career to play AA minor league is jaw-dropping. However, there are five people on an NBA team’s starting lineup. Usually during a Lebron and Jordan GOAT debate, the Jordan supporter always says “Lebron doesn’t have six rings”.  

If rings were to rate a players complete greatness, then that means Bill Russel is the king of all basketball and the next GOAT has a long way to go before passing him. Nearly double the amount of rings Jordan has, Russel ironically has 11 championship rings. On the other hand, there’s still Lebron haters that piggyback on the idea that he’s been to nine finals but only has three rings. That’s exactly where my point of one can’t win alone comes in, although he has a losing record. He’s been to the finals eight times in a row; that’s half of my life time. 

Jordan doesn’t have many stats to back him up for being the greatest of all time besides having what I personally find to be astonishing: his personal shoe deal with Nike, and six back-to-back NBA championships. What he has done is amazing and he is definitely an NBA legend, but besides his six rings, he doesn’t have many other stats to definitively deem him to be the best player of all time. He doesn’t have the most points, assists or championships of all time either. So why do we all see him as a mystical being that no one will ever surpass? Eventually a second coming of Lebron James or Stephen Curry will win more than six rings. Then, all of the Jordan bandwagoners will have nothing left to hold onto about why he’s the greatest of all time. 

I believe that in the context of a team- based sport, the greatest of all time should be labeled by the decades, not complete statistics overtime. If they were to be labeled overall shouldn’t the GOAT have the top statistics in just about every category? If not, at least the most championships?