Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time due to his on-court play, but Charles Barkley believes Jordan is the GOAT for his off-court contributions.
The debate over who is the greatest NBA player of all time usually comes down to critical areas such as awards, championships and stats.
During a recent interview, Barkley added two more factors to the GOAT argument, which bolster Jordan’s GOAT credentials.
Barkley mentions that the shoe deals Jordan started changed the game of basketball. Following in his footsteps, current players like LeBron James can make hundreds of millions of dollars from shoe deals alone. He said:
Michael did two things; where I always tell people I think he’s the GOAT. Number one, the shoe thing. No one made money off shoes before Michael. Now the guys are all making three to four hundred million dollars a year thanks to Michael. Well, a few guys earn that much, but that’s because of Michael.
The shoe deals Jordan signed undoubtedly changed the financial situation of the NBA and its players, as the Jordan brand set the pattern for how athletes approach merchandising.
Barkley also believes that Jordan and his brand have led to the commercialization of NBA players, which almost all players benefit from. He added:
Then, second, we all had ads. Nobody did commercials before Michael Jordan came along, so Magic Bird and Michaell for me, man, I thank those guys for never having to get a real job. It means a lot to me; these three guys.
Jordan may not have the success on the court that some of the other elite players in basketball history have had. However, his mark is one of the biggest in the history of the sport and has helped many players earn a lot of money.
Charles Barkley isn’t the only one to re-anoint Michael Jordan as a GOAT
Charles Barkley takes a unique take on Michael Jordan’s GOAT credentials. However, he’s not the only analyst to claim that Jordan is the GOAT for a particular segment.
During a recent segment on his show, Rich Eisen also gave a unique reason why Jordan is the GOAT.
Recognition from prominent journalist and new sports analyst Tom Brady further solidifies Jordan’s GOAT credentials.
As Rich Eisen said on his show, LeBron James will have the opportunity to add to his resume. However, the debate will rage for years to come. For now, Eisen and Charles Barkley are staying with Jordan as GOATs.
Q. Who is the GOAT?
3 voices so far