NBA All-Star Weekend gives a nice opportunity for players from all around the league to come together, have fun, and put on a show for the fans. It also gives players who don’t normally get a chance to socialize, a chance for fun conversations. This was the case with big men Joel Embiid and Al Horford.
Both members of Team Stephen in this year’s All-Star Game, the two international bigs had a very interesting conversation about who could be the greatest player of all-time. The always fun Embiid was mic’d up during the game, allowing for the conversation to be revealed.
On the same night Michael Jordan received a loud applause after a ceremonial handing over of a basketball for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game that the Charlotte Hornets will host, Embiid asked Horford if he considered Jordan the best player of all-time.
Horford implied he did, which prompted Embiid to make a strong argument for former Los Angeles Lakers center Wilt Chamberlain, while Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were also mentioned, via the official NBA Twitter account:
“I didn’t get to watch him, but I mean, when I look at the numbers and all that, like Wilt. I don’t know why everybody’s always saying that he played against short people, but looking at his videos and stuff, he was so freakin’ athletic. He would’ve been able to play in any era, jump over everybody. But I don’t know. It comes down to championships, too. And then if it comes down to championships, Bill Russell has gotta be the GOAT […] Yeah, Kareem. Yeah.”
It should be noted that it was Horford who mentioned Kareem first, leading to Embiid’s agreement. All three players have their own legit cases as to being the greatest player ever.
Chamberlain put up the most ridiculous numbers ever. Some of his season averages would pass for unbelievable games today. Of course, as Embiid noted, when it comes down to winning, no one can match Russell’s 11 championships.
Kareem almost combines the best of both, with six championships and the all-time scoring record that no one has come close to touching. This argument will always go on as newer era players like Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James will throw their hat in the ring as well.
Jordan remains the standard, but the argument for many others is strong as well.
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