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“LeBron Never Played in A System that Breeds Championships”: Michael Jordan’s Former Teammate Compares James to Other GOAT Candidates

Prateek Singh

"LeBron Never Played in A System that Breeds Championships": Michael Jordan's Former Teammate Compares James to Other GOAT Candidates

The GOAT debate between LeBron James and Michael Jordan is a staple in NBA barbershop conversations. While several fans consider the King deserving of the number-one spot on the all-time list, there is one flaw in his resume which puts him behind Michael Jordan. His championship numbers. On a recent episode of the ‘TFU Podcast’, former Chicago Bull, John Salley, dissected the reason behind LBJ’s lack of silverware.

According to the four-time NBA Champion, James was never part of “a system” consisting of “the Triangle offense”, which, as per him, is the key to winning. He said,

“LeBron doesn’t have more championships because LeBron never played in a system that breeds championships.”

Salley added that none of LBJ’s teams actively worked for the NBA title or made extra efforts required to be a championship-winning team.


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He discussed the triangle offense, devised by Phil Jackson with the Chicago Bulls, that helped MJ and his team get six championships in a decade. After the Chicago chapter, HC Jackson moved to LA and won five more with the Lakers.

To further prove the viability of the strategy, Steve Kerr took a page out of the Zen Master’s book and won four championships with the Warriors. As per Salley, LBJ never had a dedicated team like that with him that wanted to chase rings. He said,

“LeBron never had this triangle system. It was all…put the weight on him and anytime you put the weight on somebody without the system, they didn’t win.”

Even though Salley believes that all the pressure was put on the 4-time NBA MVP’s shoulders, James thrived in such situations and showed up big in several of them. Moreover, there was one common thread in the other three teams he mentioned that were extremely successful.

LeBron James switched teams while chasing rings

The common factor between MJ’s Bulls, the late, great Kobe Bryant’s Lakers, and Stephen Curry’s Warriors was that all these players stayed with one team. They trusted in the process of building a championship-caliber team at the risk of initial failures to get to the mountaintop.

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In LBJ’s case, he didn’t invest enough time with one franchise and instead decided to jump ships hoping to add more championships. To his credit, he was still successful enough to have four rings in his career so far. The closest thing in LeBron’s career to a “system” that Salley talked about was during his time with the Miami Heat.

The 39-year-old spent four years with an organization that thrives on its decades-old culture. But even in that structure, he had to do most of the heavy lifting among the Big 3 of James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. By the end of his tenure, he walked away with two rings.

He has limited time remaining in his career now, as the NBA All-time scoring leader looks to add one more championship to his decorated bio.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Prateek Singh

Prateek Singh


Prateek is a Senior NBA Writer for The SportsRush. He has over 900 published articles under his name. Prateek merged his passion for writing and his love for the sport of basketball to make a career out of it. Other than basketball, he is also an ardent follower of the UFC and soccer. Apart from the world of sports, he has followed hip-hop religiously and often writes about the origins, evolution, and the biggest stars of the music genre.

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