Vince Carter Names Top 3 All-Time: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 06: Vince Carter #15 of the Atlanta Hawks looks on against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on March 06, 2020 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Will Newton/Getty Images

Vince Carter has played against a lot of elite players in his lengthy NBA career but ranks Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time.

The 22-year NBA veteran listed Jordan as No. 1, Kobe Bryant as No. 2 and LeBron James as No. 3 on the latest episode of All the Smoke (conversation starts at 27:25):

"I gotta go with MJ," Carter said.

The 43-year-old has the rare privilege of facing all three in his career, but his decision seemed to come down to success in the finals. 

"People always talk about winning percentage, that's the time to talk about winning percentage," he said.

Jordan's Chicago Bulls won all six of his NBA Finals appearances while Bryant went 5-2 in the finals. James has just three wins in his nine trips to the NBA Finals.

Despite what appears like slights against LeBron, Carter acknowledged the argument is not final.

"Wait until it's all said and done and it's fair to have a real debate," he said. "...Let's see what LeBron does and how it all plays out and go from there."

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Matt Barnes argued James could rise in the rankings if he takes a third franchise to an NBA title.

LeBron has already won titles with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, while the Lakers had the best record in the Western Conference (49-14) before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus.

As long as he remains healthy, he could have several more opportunities to reach the finals and possibly add more championships to his resume. The 35-year-old can also continue to add individual accolades after already ranking third all-time in points scored and eighth in total assists.

Still, Jordan currently stands on top of the list for Carter after a career that saw him earn five MVP Awards and 10 scoring titles in addition to his six championships.

Bryant, who began his career just two years before Carter, remains second with five rings and 18 All-Star selections. 

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