Who is the greatest athlete of all-time regardless of the sport?
That’s a question that has recently become far more prominent than the typical “greatest of all-time” debates that generally only deal with specific sports.
But there is at least one person who believes he knows the answer. And you’ll be shocked by the answer Charles Barkley gave when he was asked whether Tom Brady or Michael Jordan was the actual GOAT.
As 24/7 sports networks like ESPN and sports talk radio have come to prominence, never-ending debates over each sports’ greatest of all-time have raged.
Whether it’s Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James, or Tiger Woods vs. Jack Nicklaus, or Tom Brady vs. Joe Montana, those debates have become central to every sports conversation that takes place on a network or in a bar amongst friends.
But recently, the debate surrounding one athlete in particular has shifted.
When Tom Brady won his seventh Super Bowl over a week ago, giving him more Super Bowls than any NFL franchise has ever won, the debates began over whether Brady was the greatest athlete of all-time regardless of the sport.
Naturally, that has pitted the NFL great against six-time NBA champion and reigning G.O.A.T. athlete Michael Jordan.
As is always the case with these sorts of debates, there’s no way to prove whether Brady or Jordan were the greatest, as it’s all down to personal preference and opinion.
Despite that fact, there is at least one person who believes he has the answer.
And surprisingly, that person is fellow NBA legend and close friend of Jordan, Charles Barkley.
Throughout the years, Barkley has always adamantly defended Jordan’s claim to the GOAT throne, fighting back against any notion that any other athlete could ever unseat Jordan.
But with Brady winning his seventh title, it appears that Barkley’s tune might just be changing.
“It’s hard for me to put anybody above Michael, but Michael was always gonna be the best player 4 out of 7 games,” Barkley said in a recent radio interview.
“But, the difference is every time Tom Brady played a football game, it was a Game 7. I never had thought about it like that,” Barkley continued. “I mean, you think about that. Every football game in the playoffs is a Game 7.”
“Like, if Michael, he’s going to win most series because he’s going to be the best player 4 out of 7 games. But, when you playing football, every single game in the playoffs is a Game 7.”
Even the most adamant of Jordan’s supporters have to agree that everything Barkley said there is undoubtedly true.
With the NFL playoffs being a single elimination format and the NBA playoffs featuring seven game series, Brady’s 34 playoff wins can easily be compared to 34 game sevens in the NBA.
So when you consider that perspective, Brady’s seven Super Bowl wins in 10 appearances easily seems like the bigger accomplishment, and one that justifies his G.O.A.T. label.
But even though he believes that Tom Brady has overtaken Michael Jordan in the G.O.A.T. ladder, Barkley is still in disbelief that Brady is still playing in the NFL.
In fact, Barkley believes Brady’s most recent Super Bowl would have been the perfect “drop the mic” moment.
“I can’t believe he’s not retired, I’m not gon’ lie,” Barkley said.
“Because if you do what he just did, beat Drew Brees in New Orleans, beat Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field, and then beat Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl, that would be the greatest ‘drop the mic’ ever in sports.”
“That would be the greatest mic dropped in the history of civilization,” Barkley continued. “That’s how cool that would be — to beat those 3 guys and walk away on number 7, that would be one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in my life.”