John Stockton Says One Of Jordan, LeBron, And Bryant Is Not Even A Top 5 Player Of All Time

John Stockton says he wouldn’t put one of Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant in his list of the five greatest players ever.

John Stockton recently appeared on The Huddle, where the age-old question of who is the greatest ever came up once again. Stockton was asked if Michael Jordan, LeBron James, or Kobe Bryant is the GOAT, and not only did he refuse to pick one of the three, but added one of them wouldn’t even make his top five.

“Well, I wouldn’t use those three,” Stockton said. “Some of those three or one of those three wouldn’t even be in my top five. I hate that question and I get asked it all the time. Who’s anybody to say, ‘Well it’s either of those three.’

“Wilt Chamberlain, they changed rules to negate how dominant he was,” Stockton continued. “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, leading scorer and shot-blocker in the history of the game for 40 years is it? Now, I know LeBron passed him and things like that but he passed him with three-point lines and changes of rules.

“There’s so many guys that I would put in that handful of first five,” Stockton added. “I’m not certain that the guys that are suggested are always the ones that I would put in there with them.”

Now, these lists are subjective and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but Stockton hinting that neither of these three would be a lock to make his top five is a bit much. I think you can make a case for Bryant not being one of the five greatest players ever, but not the other two.

Jordan won six titles, six Finals MVPs, five MVPs, 10 scoring titles, and a DPOY in his storied career. He also made 11 All-NBA teams and nine All-Defensive teams in his 13 seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

James, meanwhile, has won four titles, four Finals MVPs, four MVPs, a scoring title, and an assists title. The 39-year-old is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and has made 20 All-NBA teams to go with six All-Defensive teams. He is also a 20-time All-Star.

For me, those resumes make it a no-brainer to put Jordan and James in the top five. As for Bryant, he won five titles, two Finals MVPs, an MVP, and two scoring titles. He made 15 All-NBA teams and 12 All-Defensive teams in his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

There is no denying that Bryant had an incredible career, but his resume isn’t quite as impressive as that of the other two. It’s why you can make a case for the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird to bump him off that top five.

John Stockton Took A Shot At LeBron James

While Stockton, who played 19 seasons in the NBA with the Utah Jazz, has had some praise for Jordan over the years, he hasn’t quite been all that complimentary towards James. Last year, Stockton even called out LeBron for influencing team decisions.

“I don’t know what it’s like to sit in that front office and have things dictating to you like a plan, and it appears LeBron is,” Stockton said on the DNP-CD podcast.

“I don’t know for sure that he is, but it’d be maddening as a teammate to know that you can be expendable for one of his guys that he thinks he needs to play with. The iffiness it causes with the team, the iffiness that it causes upstairs.”

I think a lot of ex-players do feel that way. Whatever you may think of James’ methods, though, he has won those four championships. Almost all of the players he played with have spoken glowingly of him as well, and I think they all somewhat understood that the top dog gets to call the shots.

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