In a recent episode of Kevin Garnett’s show “Area 21”, the former NBA champion had a candid conversation with one of the most notorious enforcers in league history, Charles Oakley. The two legends discussed various topics, including their experiences playing against each other, their opinions on the current state of the game, and their views on some of the greatest players of all time. One of the most surprising moments of the show came when Garnett asked Oakley a simple question: “Who would you rather play with, LeBron or Mike?” Oakley, who was a teammate of Michael Jordan for three seasons in Chicago, did not hesitate to answer: “LeBron James, but Michael Jordan is my best friend.” Oakley explained his reasoning by saying that Jordan was not a willing passer and did not care if Oakley got any shots on offense. He said that LeBron, on the other hand, was a more unselfish player who could make his teammates better. He also praised LeBron’s versatility and durability, saying that he could play multiple positions and handle the physicality of the game. Oakley’s choice may seem shocking to some fans, especially those who consider Jordan to be the undisputed GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). After all, Oakley and Jordan had a close friendship that dated back to their days in Chicago, where they formed a formidable duo on both ends of the floor. Oakley was Jordan’s protector and enforcer, always ready to stand up for him against any physical or verbal abuse from opponents. Jordan appreciated Oakley’s toughness and loyalty, and even expressed his displeasure when the Bulls traded him to the Knicks in 1988 for Bill Cartwright. However, Oakley’s choice may also reflect his personal preference and style of play. Oakley was never a prolific scorer or a focal point of any offense. He was a hard-working rebounder, defender, and role player who did the dirty work for his teams. He averaged 9.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in his 19-year career, making one All-Star appearance in 1994. He played for six teams in total, but he is best remembered for his ten seasons with the Knicks, where he was part of some epic battles with Jordan and the Bulls in the 1990s. LeBron James, who is widely regarded as one of the best all-around players ever, may have been a better fit for Oakley’s game than Jordan. LeBron is a four-time MVP, a four-time champion, and a 17-time All-Star who can play and guard any position on the floor. He is also one of the best passers in NBA history, averaging 7.4 assists per game in his career. He has led the league in assists once (in 2020) and has been in the top ten 13 times. He has also made his teammates better throughout his career, helping them win championships or reach new heights in their individual performances. Jordan, on the other hand, was a scoring machine who dominated the game with his unparalleled competitiveness and killer instinct. He is a six-time champion, a six-time Finals MVP, a five-time MVP, and a 14-time All-Star who holds the highest career scoring average in NBA history (30.1 points per game). He led the league in scoring ten times and won ten scoring titles. He was also an elite defender, winning nine All-Defensive First Team selections and one Defensive Player of the Year award. However, he was not known for being a generous passer or facilitator. He averaged 5.3 assists per game in his career and never led the league in that category. Of course, there is no definitive answer to who is better between LeBron James and Michael Jordan. Both are among the greatest players to ever grace the hardwood and have left indelible marks on the game. Both have legions of fans and admirers who will defend their legacy and achievements. Both have also faced criticism and controversy at some point in their careers. But for Charles Oakley, who played with both of them at different stages of his career, there is a clear preference: he would rather play with LeBron James than Michael Jordan. Final Thoughts: Oakley’s Choice of LeBron Over Jordan Charles Oakley’s choice of LeBron James over Michael Jordan as a teammate may come as a surprise to some, but it is understandable when considering Oakley’s style of play and personal preference. As a hard-working role player who valued toughness, defense, and rebounding, Oakley may have appreciated LeBron’s unselfishness, versatility, and durability more than Jordan’s scoring prowess and competitiveness. Oakley’s answer also highlights the fact that different players have different strengths and weaknesses, and that what works for one player may not work for another. Of course, this does not diminish Jordan’s greatness or legacy in any way. Jordan is widely regarded as the GOAT for a reason, and his impact on the game of basketball is undeniable. He revolutionized the way the game is played and perceived, and his accomplishments speak for themselves. However, it is also important to recognize that Jordan was not a perfect player, and that he had his flaws and limitations. His lack of passing and playmaking skills, for example, may have hindered his teams’ ability to maximize their potential and may have put more pressure on him to carry the load on offense. On the other hand, LeBron James has proven to be a more well-rounded player who can do it all on the court. He has shown that he can lead his teams to victory by scoring, rebounding, defending, passing, and making his teammates better. He has also adapted his game to different situations and eras, from playing as a point forward in Cleveland to teaming up with other superstars in Miami and Los Angeles. He has set numerous records and milestones, and has established himself as one of the greatest players in NBA history. Ultimately, the debate between LeBron James and Michael Jordan will continue to rage on, with each side presenting its own arguments and evidence. However, Charles Oakley’s choice of LeBron over Jordan should not be dismissed as a mere opinion or preference. It is a reminder that basketball is a team sport that requires different players to perform different roles, and that no one player is perfect or invincible. Oakley’s answer also reflects his own experiences and perspectives, and should be respected as such.