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Austin Rivers On The GOAT Argument: Butt Out

He says it’s none of your business

Houston Rockets v New York Knicks
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 02: Austin Rivers #25 of the Houston Rockets in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 02, 2020 in New York City.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Former Blue Devil Austin Rivers weighs in with a very different take on the GOAt argument raging in the aftermath of The Last Dance: it’s none of your business.

“If you are a current player in the NBA, I’ll have this discussion. If you have coached in the NBA, I’ll have this discussion,” Rivers told former teammate Seth Curry on Uninterrupted: “If you did not play in the NBA or coached the NBA, I don’t care what your opinion is about the all time greatest. I don’t give a f–k if you’ve studied the game of basketball. You never played, you don’t know what it’s like competing against those guys.”

Fair point but by the same token, how can he talk about Michael Jordan if he never played against him? What about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain?

He’s right to an extent. Most people in the media are just kind of making a stab and have no experience against guys like LeBron James and Jordan.

Even so we think about Shirley Povich.

Povich was born in 1905 and wrote his last column in 1998. It was published the day after his death.

Povich saw Babe Ruth and Bo Jackson. He saw Red Grange and Barry Sanders, Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.

He could understand things that most people had no way to understand. You ignore experience at your own peril. It’s true for people who played and coached, but others have knowledge too. It’s just different kinds of knowledge.