John Salley on Michael Jordan: ‘I just don’t think he’s the greatest player ever’
Former Detroit Piston bad boy John Salley said that despite years of match ups against the Chicago Bulls in the 1980s and early 90s, Michael Jordan is not the greatest player that he’s played against.
Salley made the comments while on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio:
“I love Michael. I’m a Michael Jordan fan, like everyone else. I just don’t think he’s the greatest player ever. I think the greatest player I ever played against was Magic Johnson. Next was Larry Bird. Then Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The hardest guy I ever had to guard? Hakeem Olajuwon. …. The greatest player I ever played with? I played with Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen …. Isiah Thomas is the greatest player I’ve ever played with.”
Salley was drafted 11th overall by the Pistons in the 1986 NBA Draft. He played against Jordan and the Bulls in four playoffs over his six years with the Pistons, beating Chicago in the Eastern Conference Finals from 1988 – 1990. The Bulls beat the Pistons in the 1991 conference finals.
By comparison, Salley and the Pistons lost to Magic Johnson and the Lakers in the 1988 NBA Finals but beat Los Angeles the following season in an NBA Finals rematch.