When did Michael Jordan become the NBA's GOAT?

Magic Johnson was one of many GOAT contenders before Jordan's ascent. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Editor's note: This story was originally published on May 19, 2020.

Whether it was Michael Jordan's intention or not, the five-week run of ESPN's documentary "The Last Dance" featuring the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls has reestablished Jordan's place in the popular consciousness as the NBA's greatest of all time.

When did Jordan claim the GOAT title? From whom did he snatch it?

Going back to a time before "The Last Dance" reveals that the answers to those questions aren't as simple as they might seem in hindsight.

Let's break it down, FAQ style, to see which players Jordan surpassed, how and when.