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Stephen A. Smith Sums Up Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James

lebron james passes michael jorda on the nba's all-time scoring list

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates after passing Michael Jordan and moving to #4 on the NBA's all-time scoring list during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on March 06, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

The Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James debate has been rehashed so many times, we've basically covered every possible argument for either ad nauseum.

Still, with James playing in his 10th-career NBA Finals this week, you knew we'd get more of the MJ vs. LeBron banter. To ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, there really is no debate: Jordan is the GOAT.

In a video clip from First Take which he shared on Twitter, Smith said that it isn't just Jordan's on-court resume--the scoring titles, 6-0 Finals record, playoff dominance etc.--that gives him the advantage over LeBron. It is also His Airness' mental toughness, which Smith says LeBron is not in the "same stratosphere" as.

Additionally, Stephen A. cited MJ's path through the Eastern Conference to win his six rings as another factor in rating him over James.

"There's something about the road you travel to get there," Smith said. "Nobody wants to pay attention to the level of competition that you have to go against en route to that level of greatness you ultimately accomplish."

We've heard all of these things before, just like we've heard the rebuttals from those who think LeBron is the G.O.A.T. No one's mind is changing, but we will continue to discuss this topic for eternity it seems.

Anyway, LeBron will be looking for his fourth ring with his third different team when the Lakers take on the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. Game 1 is set for tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.