The NBA Countdown: Stay Home crew of Paul Pierce, Jalen Rose, Jay Williams, and Maria Taylor returned to close out the week with another batch of NBA topics to discuss.
Chief among them, the conclusion of The Last Dance this Sunday, and its portrayal of Michael Jordan in isolation as a person who alienated many to create his path to greatness. It’s something a lot of all-time greats in their professions how to deal with. But is it worth it? The Truth thinks so.
“You’re telling me, would I rather have six championships, made all the money Jordan made and not have no friends? Absolutely,” Paul said getting closer to the camera, Absolutely! All day long. Friends cost, we all know that.”
It begs the question, what leadership style is best for your personality? Jay Williams posed the question which would be better for each panelist, Jordan’s style, Kobe’s style, or LeBron’s style.
Paul noted that he grew up under tough coaches, so he was no stranger to a fierce leadership style of a Jordan and he believed it motivated him throughout his career.
“I’m going with the Jordan style cause that’s going to push me,” he said. “When you play for the likes of Roy Williams, of Rick Pitino, that’s just what that era was,” he said. “A lot of yelling at you, a lot of getting on you, but you know what, it was about how competitive you were. They tested your insides. It’s something I think I needed, the discipline and that hard figure just to like push me. That’s the way I looked at it.”
Paul also talks about how the culture has changed and that Jordan/Kobe leadership style has given way to a laid back superstar mentality that starts at the beginning of these players’ basketball lives, in AAU programs.
Watch the Countdown Crew discuss it below.
Moving on, the crew debated the ESPN.com list of the Top NBA Players of All-Time, which saw LeBron James ranked second behind only Michael Jordan. As Paul discussed on The Jump earlier this week, he believes that is too high for LeBron right now. He had an ally in Rose, who has LeBron fifth behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell and Magic Johnson.
“What’s the criteria? What are we going off of? Stats? Kareem’s got the stats. Are we going off championships? Russell has 11 of them,” Paul said. “If we’re going off a combination of that stuff, them guys have done more.”
The Truth also ranks on that list of the Top players of all-time, coming in at No. 54, right between Gary Payton and Vince Carter. To The Truth, just being in the Top 55 of all-time is an honor.
“I don’t know how many players have been through the league. To be ranked in that category is always an honor. I think when you look at that I think every player will always think they could be higher. I think I could put up an argument [to be a little higher]. But just to be in the conversation, I’m cool with that. I made my mark on the game.”
Jalen Rose went on to tell Paul that 4,000-something players have gone through the league, “And you’re one of the 54 greatest of all-time.” As Jay Williams said. “That’s legendary.”
That’s The Truth.
Check out the whole show below.