LeBron James is about to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Is he passing Michael Jordan, too?

Countless fans around the world swear James is the “GOAT,” and they aren’t wrong.

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LeBron James before a January game in Boston.

LeBron James before a January game in Boston.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.

I say that not because it’s a fact — it isn’t — but because it’s my opinion, and we are obligated more than ever before to take a position on this vital matter. Jordan or LeBron James? James or Jordan?

With the Lakers superstar about to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career scoring record on Tuesday or, if he’s still a few buckets short of 38,387 points, on Thursday, the week will be filled with “GOAT” talk. Every commentator or fan old enough to shave sounds like a 12-year-old when using that trite, silly acronym, but it won’t stop anybody.

If you watched Jordan win six championships while being the undisputed best player on the planet for about a decade, it’s going to be awfully hard to change your mind.

But countless fans around the world swear by James, and they aren’t any more wrong or right than I am. It still will be fun to tell them they’re wrong, of course. That’s our duty. It’s how these things work.

Some of us didn’t appreciate the way James ‘‘took his talents’’ to Miami in 2010, sparking a superteam movement in the NBA. Some don’t like his flopping or ESPN’s long obsession with all things LeBron. Some can’t handle it when James uses his platform to speak out against social injustice, one way he clearly differs from Jordan the player.

None of that, however, even begins to diminish what he has done on the court. Only 38 and — statistically — as good as ever, he’ll put the scoring record into orbit before he’s through. He’s fourth all-time in assists, too.

James has been to 10 Finals, winning only four of them, and that makes him different from Jordan, as well. But the teams James went up against in the Finals — including the Spurs three times and the Warriors four times — probably were better than the teams Jordan faced. Maybe a lot better. Were the Bulls ever supposed to lose any of those championship series? Don’t think so.

2022 NBA All-Star Game

LeBron James and Michael Jordan at the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team celebration in 2022.

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

At his pinnacle, in 2016, James put on the most spectacular Finals performance we’ve ever seen, bringing the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit to rob the 73-victory Warriors of their destiny. Who else could have led both teams in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals in a series? James had a triple-double in Game 7 and willed his team to hold the Warriors — an offensive machine — scoreless for the final 4:39.

I hear often how easily Jordan would score in today’s NBA, that he’d roll out of bed and average 40 a night. Just imagine James a generation ago, however, shooting fewer threes and posting up more. Imagine him like Charles Barkley, going one-on-one with a defender with half the floor cleared out.

James would’ve challenged Jordan back then for ‘‘GOAT’’ status. Just as he does now.

Three-dot dash

A rabbit hole worth going down: Take a look back at all the Super Bowl quarterback matchups and try to figure out where the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes against the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts fits in. It’s probably not going to rank very high at all, even though Mahomes is the shoo-in for league MVP and Hurts is the leading candidate from the NFC. For me, it’s somewhere right in the middle of the 57. . . .

The above idea is stolen from CBS, which did this a couple of years ago, and take a guess which two quarterback matchups were tied for last? Peyton Manning vs. Rex Grossman in Super Bowl 41 and Tony Eason vs. Jim McMahon in Super Bowl 20.

Oh, the disrespect. . . .

World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians - Game Seven

Dexter Fowler, World Series-winning Cubs leadoff man.

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Four words of advice for ex-Cub Dexter Fowler as he begins his broadcast career as a studio analyst on Marquee Network:

‘‘You go, we go.’’

Or something like that. . . .

An emailer suggested Porter Moser for the Notre Dame basketball job, which Mike Brey is leaving at the end of the season. Moser, formerly of Loyola, has a better chance to win big — and get paid big — where he is, at Oklahoma. . . .

My latest college basketball AP Top 25 ballot: 1. Houston, 2. Purdue, 3. Arizona, 4. Alabama, 5. Texas, 6. UCLA, 7. Tennessee, 8. Virginia, 9. Kansas, 10. Marquette, 11. Xavier, 12. Baylor, 13. Kansas State, 14. Iowa State, 15. Providence, 16. Saint Mary’s, 17. TCU, 18. N.C. State, 19. Miami, 20. Indiana, 21. UConn, 22. Creighton, 23. Gonzaga, 24. Duke, 25. Clemson.

This you gotta see

Spurs at Bulls (7 p.m. Monday, NBCSCH): Any chance the Bulls, winners of their last two, are good enough to go on a nice streak? We already know they’re bad enough to lose to the bottom-feeder Spurs, which they did in October.

Thunder at Lakers (9:30 p.m. Tuesday, TNT): Is this the night for James? He needs 36 points to pass Kareem.

Bucks at Lakers (9 p.m. Thursday, TNT): Tune in to watch LeBron if he hasn’t broken the record. Tune in to watch the Bucks if he has.

The bottom five

The Sky: No, there’s absolutely no truth to the rumor coach/GM James Wade has signed a pair of mannequins to fill the last seats on the bench this coming season.

The Mavericks: Trading for Kyrie Irving? Really? Owner Mark Cuban passes on better ideas every time he’s on ‘‘Shark Tank.’’

Aaron Rodgers: Congrats to him on his first Pebble Beach Pro-Am title. Too bad there won’t be another — or am I thinking of Super Bowls?

The Pro Bowl Games: Flag football? Something called ‘‘Kick-Tac-Toe’’? Hopefully there were orange slices before Mom picked everybody up in the minivan.

NHL All-Star break: For crying out loud, does it really have to end? Because I’m pretty sure that means the Blackhawks are going to start playing again.

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