John Salley Ranks Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson Above Jordan
By: Evan Jankens
Former Pistons “Bad Boy” John Salley may have put his foot in his mouth, well, at least for Michael Jordan fans, when he listed the best teammates he ever had and players he faced — and basketball great Jordan wasn’t on the list.
Salley said Magic Johnson was the best player he ever faced and went on to say, “Next was Larry Bird. Then Kareem Abdul-Jabbaar. The hardest guy I had to guard? Hakeem Olajuwon … and then Kevin McHale … And the greatest player I’ve ever played with … Isiah Thomas is the best player I’ve ever played with.”
Salley, when talking about facing Jordan with the “Bad Boys” teams said, “I watched Dennis Rodman and Joe Dumars push him left and shoot 32 times. We weren’t worried about him.”
Now the key word I picked up from that quote is “watched,” yes that’s right, he watched because Salley was never more than a role player.
Now I know, with my bias, that Michael Jordan is the greatest player to play the game. Now I am 29 years old and grew up with some great players but I don’t believe that Hakeem, who wouldn’t have won a championship without Jordan retiring is better than Mike or brought more to the game. Is he a top 5 center of all-time? Of course.
Is Kevin “I have never jumped more than an inch” McHale a better player than Jordan? No way, maybe he was great to Salley because he actually played against him, but how can he really believe that playing on the same Chicago Bulls team that won 72 games that he joined to get a ring is not a top 5 player of all-time? Oh, did I mention he only appeared in 17 of those games? Keep hatin’ Salley.
What do you think: Is Salley crazy or spot-on?
Click HERE to see the complete interview