NBA's All-Time Assists Leader Blasts LeBron James: "Maddening" Teammate

John Stockton is from a bygone era in the NBA. An era where player empowerment wasn't quite what it is today. Stockton, the NBA's all-time assist leader still by a wide margin, has called out LeBron James for trying to be a GM as well as a player at all of his stops. 

Speaking on a podcast, the Utah Jazz legend had this to say about James calling the shots for his teams' player personnel decisions.

I don’t know what it’s like to sit in that front office and have things dictated to you like a plan, and it appears LeBron is.  
I don’t know for sure that he is, but it’d be maddening as a teammate to know that you can be expendable for one of his guys that he thinks he needs to play with. The iffiness it causes with the team, the iffiness that it causes upstairs. I don't like it... 

James was the architect of the "Heatles" in Miami in 2010, getting together with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, where he won two championships, and then "built" the 2016 team in Cleveland that won another title. Kyrie Irving, his teammate on that team, actually referred to him as "LeGM." 

But James' attempts to construct a winner in Los Angeles with the Lakers failed miserably after he arranged to bring in Russell Westbrook, and we all know how that turned out. 

Stockton prefers the old style, stay-and-play-in-one-place attitude.  

I like where guys just tighten their belt and say, 'you know what, let's go to work, we just gotta play better and smarter.'... Instead of just 'Huh... where's the grass greener? I'm gonna go there and win a championship'. I think it devalues that. You're not climbing the mountain, you're taking a helicopter to the top.  I'm not a fan of it, but who cares what I think? 

Stockton, unfortunately for him, Karl Malone, and the Jazz, never quite got to the very top of the mountain themselves, losing to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals two straight years, in 1997 and 1998. But he certainly stuck it out in Utah, spending his entire 19-year NBA career there. He was a 10-time All-Star and his 15,806 assists are eons ahead of second-best Jason Kidd, who had 12,091. Chris Paul is the active leader with 11,501 and LeBron is 4th at 10,420.

Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports