Stephen Jackson: LeBron ‘has never had the dog in him that Kobe and Jordan have’

Video Details

Stephen Jackson and Jim Jackson join Jason Whitlock and Chris Broussard to discuss Whitlock's claim that LeBron is not a great competitor.

- All right, joining me now to talk about this, NBA analyst, Chris Boussard, former NBA player, Jim Jackson, former NBA champion, Stephen Jackson. I'm going to start with you, Jim. I don't see a dog here. Tell me I'm wrong.

- You know, you started off this thing, you know, monotone. You was smiling a little bit. Then once you got into it, that bravado came out. The curse words came out, but listen, listen. And you used some wording here to kind of get everybody on the same-- permanently-- permanently diminish his legacy.

- Yes.

- Come on, man, stop it. He ain't permanent. Maybe in your mind, he did. This is not going to diminish his legacy. Now, I'm going to say this.

- I'm gonna stop you real quick. I just want to say Kobe and Michael Jordan watch that last night. You tell me they wasn't laughing?

- He's not Kobe. He's never been built like Kobe or Mike. So why you expect him to act like Kobe or Mike?

- Kobe and Michael are watching that. And this man turned down Kevin Durant. You don't think they're laughing?

- So did he turn down Derek Rolls when he had the garden? Did he turn down Kevin Durant last year? If this was a pattern, I would say yes, he ain't got no dog. But the dog you're talking about is Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. That's on a whole other level. LeBron has never been that. LeBron ain't built like that. So I don't expect him to be that kind of person.

Heck, Russell Westbrook is a different kind of animal and LeBron is not there.

- Allen Iverson.

- Allen Iverson is a different--

- Y'all making my point. He's no dog.

- I think there is a little gentle giant in LeBron. I think it was in Wilt. I think it was in Shaq. Yeah. Well, I think-- and Lebron's obviously not a seven footer. But he's clearly been bigger than everybody else growing up and more athletically gifted than anybody we've seen. So when you're growing up like that and you're bigger than all the kids, you don't really want to hurt them. You just want to be accepted. You want-- you know, and I think there's some of that in LeBron, where he's friendlier. You mentioned Michael, Kobe. Competitiveness is a spectrum.

- D Wade.

- Competitiveness is a spectrum. And Michael is on one end of the spectrum. LeBron's not on the other end of the spectrum. But he's not where Mike is. Like Mike and Kobe they wanted to demoralize you. I think LeBron just wants to win, but he might want you to get yours. I'll get 40 we win. You can have your 35. You know, but--

- It's a different era too. You know, like these players, they all get along. When we played, we didn't work out together we wasn't on the same team. So this is a true example of the era today. They don't want to compete with each other. They want each other to succeed and get points and score all the points. That's why we would never put him in a category with Jordan or Kobe. I see-- I played plenty of games with Kobe. I've seen Kobe, the star player scoring points. Kobe like, no, I got him. MJ with Detroit days, I'm guarding Joe Dumars. LeBron just don't have that. So we shouldn't expect that from him.

He's never had dog to me. He's just always been great. He's never had the dog in him that Kobe and Jordan had. I've never seen that. I've just seen a great player. So when you say he doesn't have the dog in him, I agree with you, because I've never seen it. He's just great.

- OK. Hold it.

- What?

- If that's his reputation, if everybody's in agree-- that diminishes him, because when you start talking about the all time greats, because I watched--

- Well, he's going to be an all time great. That's the thing. He's top that. Everybody's good.

- You're telling me that after this, when LeBron retires, no matter what happens, he's not going to be in the top two or three. That what you're saying?

- For me. And I love the guy. I love watching him. For me, he backed himself up now. It is hard for me. When I think of Isaiah Thomas and the guys that just laid it on the line, the real dogs in this league, it's hard for me to go there with LeBron. He's a great player. Wilt was a great player. But they don't talk about Wilt like they talk about Russell. They don't talk about Wilt like they even talk about Kareem. That gentle giant-- they don't talk about Shaq the way--

- See? Look, I played with Kobe. I played with AI. I played with Xavier McDaniel. You're talking about somebody that'll go get. I played with Derrick Coleman, so trust me, I get it. When I was with the Lakers, Kobe-- we were going to play in New Jersey Nets and it was Vince Carter-- Kobe had it out for him. He's like, I'm about to get up into him from the beginning of the game. And I'm-- at the time, I'm on the bench. I'm watching it. I'm like, I can't believe Vince not going back at him. Trust me. I've seen it.

And I've seen LeBron where he's been in situations too. Just knowing how he's grown up and how he's played, he's always been accommodating to his teammates. He's never one to push away. He's always one to be inviting. That's his personality. That's who he is. And that's who I judge him by.

- OK. But here's my point though I guess. With other competitors and guys in the NBA, I'm telling you, I'm sitting-- y'all been to my house. I'm sitting at my desk watching the TV and literally, when he turned down Durant in that moment, I damn near fell out of my chair. And you're telling me that Michael Jordan and his peers-- Bill Russell isn't sitting at home going, I can't believe. It's like seeing a ghost.

- It's a different era and this is one of the reasons why I hate watching the game, because perfect example, Steph hit nine threes.

- Nobody took him out.

- Nobody-- I'm not saying hurt him, but if he drive, knock his butt down. Put him on the ground one time. Try to knock off his rhythm. If I was LeBron, knowing that we need Game 3, in my mind and probably in your mind too, there's no way I'm not guarding KD. There's no way I'm not putting my offense aside to stop the best player in the game right now. So therefore, the dog, like I said, he's never had it. So it can't kill his legacy, because he's never had it.

- Here's the other thing. On the other end of the court, Steph Curry was guarding him. Now, you want Steph Curry on you. You switch. You run pick-and-roll to get Steph on you. And LeBron would take him in and then pass it off. He wasn't taking--

- To Tristan Thompson in traffic.

- I'll say this too. I interviewed LeBron one on one early in his career. It might have been his third or fourth year. And we were talking about championships. And he said, I'm never going to be a ring chaser. OK? I think the pressure-- and he's under more scrutiny than any other player, because of the technology today-- the pressure, the scrutiny, the comparisons to Mike, that you got to get rings, six rings, five rings, whatever, I think that's led him to want to team up even more than he naturally will with other great players. You know, rather than saying, I'm just going win it on my own with the guys I got. Whoever I got, we can win it. I think that pressure has led him to want [INAUDIBLE].

- But we're saying that. We have to say this. What more can this man do? What more can we ask him to do? Like, honestly.

- Guard Kevin Durant in the fired up minute. We can ask him to do that.

- We can also ask his teammates to make a shot. We can ask them to play defense as well.

- They made shots. JR Smith was a travesty. But that's LeBron's travesty. He wanted it.

- So that one possession is the reason they lost?

- No.

- No.

- Right. Right. My point.

- It reveals something about him and--

- That we've been seeing his whole career.

- And Chris-- Chris just took me to the other thing. If I was LeBron James-- and I'm being dead serious here-- when Stephen A. Smith opened his mouth on national TV and said, "LeBron's going to talk to Golden State," I would had to slap the taste out of Stephen's-- don't lie on me. And if it's not a lie, then it says everything I'm saying. If he goes to Golden State, even considers going to Golden State, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I can't-- I can't stomach it.

- You watch the game and you see this. You see guys that don't even-- are not superstars kind of go at LeBron because they don't respect him , from a toughness perspective. Same thing with people will go at Dwight Howard. They didn't respect him. They didn't go at Kobe like that, but you went at him, but it was a different way you went at him.

- You knew he was coming back.

- You knew he was coming back. Mike? We would talk all the time, but I think even around the league, it's guys that really don't respect-- you talking about that dog part-- of LeBron, because they know his personality. I mean, guys go add up-- it was a point too where I think it was in the Boston series maybe, it was a hard file and you had the rookie-- no, no, actually it was Golden State, Jordan Bell. Hard file in Golden State and you can see him mouthing opposite the court to LeBron James with no respect. So I get what you're saying and I see it a lot of times with guys on the court.

- Let me say about Golden State, look, I'm with you. If he goes to Golden State, that shows a complete disdain for competition. All right? So you cannot do that. But if they want to talk to him, out of respect I might listen. If they come to me and say--


- This is my thing-- if I'm Gold State-- if I'm Golden State, I don't talk to him. I want-- I want him put it in his mind, we don't need you. We dogs up here. I wouldn't talk to him if I was Golden State. But if they come to him, I don't see a problem with listening to what they say. But I wouldn't initiate it. Because they might say, look, they might say, we'll give up Steph and Clay for you. And then it's a whole different situation. I'm not saying they will, but I'd listen.

- I don't-- I don't even, like I said, Stephen A. Stop lying. I don't-- I don't-- I don't even think that's true. I don't think that's even in the back of LeBron mind of going to Golden State. I don't think--

- Why is it out of the realm of possibility when I just watched the man lay down for LeBron-- I mean, for Durant at the end of the game.

- He didn't lay down, man.

- He did lay down.

- He didn't lay down, man.

- Those rings would be meaningless.

- Show the video again. No, no, seriously, show the video again. There's no reason to walk away from Kevin Durant. No, no, no, go back.

- He wasn't even in that play.

- No, no, no. He is in that play. He had already walked away 15 seconds ago . He had already moved away scared 15 seconds ago. It was incredible. Y'all not showing the right clip. That was inconceivable to me in that moment. So now, I believe anything's a possibility, I really do.

- Well, he stepped up last year on that same play and the same outcome. So--

- That might have been in his mind.

- That's how you go down.

- That might have been in the back of his mind.

- That's how you go down. Go down like a man.

- Exactly. I'm with you on that.