On a recent podcast, John Stockton, the NBA‘s historical assists and steals king, talked about James, and once again bombarded James to win the championship together, and believed that he would influence the team’s decision-making and lead to disunity within the team. This is not the first time Stockton has complained about James.
Stockton has never won a championship in his career, but he has played for the Jazz from beginning to end and values individual and team efforts. He measures success by individual and team improvement, not by number of titles won. With that in mind, the Jazz legend said he doesn’t like active players moving around the league and influencing the team’s personnel decisions by telling them which teammates they want.
“I don’t know what it’s like to sit in front of the front office and call the shots as you want, but that’s what James seems to be. I’m not sure, but as a teammate, if you know you could be a victim of the guy he needs to play with , that drives people crazy. It leads to discord and unpleasantness between teams,” Stockton said.
James once brought his talents to Miami and won two championships there. When he returned to the Cavaliers in 2015, he publicly stated that he wanted to play with Love, so the Cavaliers traded him. In the end, James, Irving and Love won the Cavaliers championship in 2016. Later, after joining the Lakers, James wanted to partner with Nongmei again, and forced the Lakers to send away young players in exchange for Nongmei, and won the 2020 championship.
“I like Michael Jordan more in that regard,” Stockton said. Smarter than seeing where the grass is greener, so I’m going to win a championship there’. I think you’re not climbing a mountain, you’re taking a helicopter to the top, and that devalues you.”