Michael Jordan and LeBron James are two different players; their styles of play are different and their mentalities. They are great, two of the best players in history, but they used different methods to reach greatness. Gary Payton, one of Jordan’s rivals during his six championships, revealed what he believes is the biggest difference between Bron and Jordan.
Back in 2018, during an appearance on FS1’s Undisputed, Payton pointed out the biggest differences between the two superstars, as well as one advantage MJ had over the King, which helped him a lot to be successful.
Gary Payton: Jordan had a better team and coach than LeBron
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“The best player in the world is on the Cleveland Cavaliers,” Payton said. “He’s an all-around basketball player, makes everybody around him better, the only thing that I don’t like about him is that he doesn’t have that killer instinct like Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan was a guy where–give me the ball, I’m gonna score 50 every night. LeBron doesn’t think that way, he wants to make everybody else better around him so it makes it a problem because he gets frustrated when he doesn’t have the players around him to make shots like he do it. Kevin Durant went to a team that already had shot makers.”
“[Lebron is] the best player in the world who don’t have that much talent on his team, that can will a team like Cleveland. We was talking about Cleveland weren’t going to make it to the Finals and what happened? They went to the championship and he took over an Eastern Conference playoffs. I’ve never seen a kid do this, every time he breaks a record about anything in the NBA, he breaking them for some reason, because he’s the type he is. That’s it.”
Moreover, the Glove talked about the differences between LeBron and Jordan’s teams during their careers, as well as the coaches they both had.
“I’m gonna say Michael Jordan had a better basketball team, he had a good cast, coach was great, too, and he made great decisions; the Chicago Bulls put players in the right position, you had a Luc Longley, you had a Kerr, you had guys like that who made baskets for Michael Jordan, so Michael Jordan made it really really easy just to score, but you had a guy like Scottie Pippen, a Hall of Famer that can do things, too. Rodman, they changed the game, because he defended everybody. He had a great cast, unlike LeBron.”
A lot has been said about LeBron and Jordan’s supporting cast in recent days. The Glove stated it two years ago, MJ was surrounded by great players, and even though he was a killer, having great teammates helped him a lot. He went 6-0 in the Finals, saved by his teammates more than once.