Channing Frye has his opinion
ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance” has captivated sports fans in recent weeks, and has (unfortunately) reignited all the dormant Michael Jordan arguments on daytime sports television. With very few other sports to watch, analysts and fans really have had nothing better to do than argue about Jordan’s legacy over the last month – but former NBA sharpshooter Channing Frye may have dropped the hottest Jordan take of all.
It should be noted that Frye, who retired in 2019, is very much a LeBron James guy. He arrived in Cleveland in 2016, the year LeBron James carried the Cavs to the Finals and overturned a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors. In any and all GOAT debates, Frye is going to understandably back the guy who got him a ring. Frye is also from Phoenix, and says he wasn’t a Jordan fan growing up.
Even so, this take is hot. On his podcast “Talkin’ Blazers with Channing Frye,” Frye said that Jordan really only had one job for the Bulls which was to score. If Jordan were in his prime today, Frye believes that many players wouldn’t want to play with him.
“So, like, Jordan is amazing, and this is not an argument to say he’s lesser, it’s just my opinion. So I think Jordan’s job on that team was the score, right? He had one of the first teams with two what we call tweeners, Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen. Right. Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen, and we can throw in Toni Kukoc, we can throw in Ron [Harper], who does not get enough credit…
He only had really one job, and that was to just score. And he did that at an amazing, amazing rate. But I don’t feel like his way of winning then would translate to what it is now. Guys wouldn’t want to play with him.
I think you have to adjust and adapt, and to say, ‘Jordan would average 50.’ No he wouldn’t. No he wouldn’t. Everyone would double-team him.”
Frye spent 14 years in the NBA and played for six different franchises. He had hundreds of teammates. He knows the NBA better than most ever will, and it’s safe to say he has a better understanding of the average NBA psyche than most analysts and fans. He might be right that players might shy away from playing alongside MJ! After all, we’ve heard those same takes about players allegedly not wanting to play with LeBron. Still, unsurprisingly, fans were outraged by his take.