#TeamMJ and #TeamKobe will always have an interesting discussion about who the GOAT is between the two, as both have had stellar careers in the NBA and possessed killer instincts on the court. Former player who played with Kobe and against Jordan reveals why he chooses Chicago Bulls hero over Lakers legend.
“He just opened the door to a lot of things”
Mitch Richmond played in the NBA for 14 seasons and was 6 times All-Star, suiting for Golden State, Sacramento, Washington and the Lakers. Mitch was the M in the Warriors’ legendary TMC Run, forming the trio with Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway. They played an exciting, fast-paced, high-scoring game that got the fans excited.
Mitch was a proven goalscorer in his career; he’s had ten seasons averaging at least 20 points per game. The shooting guard chose to chase a championship before retiring and ended up winning one with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in the 2001-02 season.
He also almost became a teammate with Jordan in Washington, but instead chose to join the Lakers. That year, MJ returned from retirement to join the Wizards. Few players could say they had the chance to play with Kobe and against MJ in their bounties, and Richmond had that privilege. When asked if he thinks MJ is the GOAT in the “Getcha Popcorn Ready with TO & Hatch” podcast, Richmond agreed and explained why.
I took on the bit * h and every night, you know what I mean, and I played with Kobe and Kobe was, I mean he’s at that level, there’s no question about it. But Mike has changed the game in so many other ways, not just on the pitch but off the pitch, you know? Then all of a sudden the guys started doing promotions and getting checks not just playing basketball. He just opened the door to a lot of things.
Mitch Richmond, Getcha Popcorn Ready with TO & Hatch
Should influence be part of the argument?
Richmond was smart at pointing out the business side of things. Mike was not the first to do so in terms of business opportunities, appearing in TV commercials and directing films, but he was certainly the most successful. He capitalized on his fame and appeal and got mentions. “Space Jam” Catapulted him into a movie star and paved the way for films like Space Jam 2, Uncle Drew, Kazaam, and other films in which NBA stars were featured.
Jordan also built a sneaker empire and turned his brand into a billion dollar company. It inspired other players to think outside the box and venture into business opportunities outside of the NBA field. LeBron James and Kevin Durant now have their own production companies. We can’t say if MJ inspired them, but Jordan walked so they could run. That should be part of GOAT’s argument, no doubt about it.