On Sunday night, football fans were treated to an elaborate hoax, courtesy of Michael Jordan. The consensus GOAT—for now—appeared to be hyping a hypothetical one-on-one battle that's dominated message boards, social media, and barrooms since the summer of 2016: who is better? LeBron James or MJ?
"A lot of talk going on these days about who is the greatest ever," His Airness says with a slight smile creeping into his countenance. "About who has the titles, the raw talent, the most clutch moments. I get it. It’s a tough call. I mean, even the jersey numbers are the same." (LeBron wears No. 23, except for No. 6 when he was in Miami.) "But, maybe the best way to settle this debate is to play it out..." At this point the music cuts off, MJ smiles, raises his eyebrows and says, "head-to-head."
Except he's talking about next Sunday's game between the Packers and the Patriots. QBs Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady both wear No. 12.
LeBron was amped too, but he was fooled like the rest of us.
The MJ-LeBron debate, not to be confused with the Kobe-LeBron non-debate, will continue to roil old school and new school NBA heads until the end of time. MJ has long since left his prime and it's unclear if LeBron's prime has even passed yet, even if his athletic zenith has (that Cavs team he brought to the Finals last year might not win a game this year after starting 0-6 and firing head coach Ty Lue). The divide is generational, except for the Kobe stans, who think Bryant's sweat springs from Hippocrene.
The Packers and Patriots kick off at 8:20 p.m. ET this Sunday, Nov. 4 in Foxborough, Mass.