Kristopher Letang and Sidney Crosby think they are Michael Jordan

Published November 24, 2021 at 4:42 PM

In the 2020's, it's becoming rare for players with an impeccable work ethic to put a teammate in his place.

However, Kris Letang admitted that this kind of situation happens frequently with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He and Sidney Crosby are never shy about speaking the truth to the face of those who deserve it. That's how you get better, he says.

"Honestly, yes, it still can, because I live it every day. Me and Sid have an attitude, if you don't want to give it your best shot. If I don't give Sid a hard time and he doesn't give me a hard time, when can we get better? There won't be a time to do it. [...] It's kind of flat because we can't talk to each other in the white of our eyes and tell each other the real stuff. You have to put on white gloves all the time, and then always flatter people in a positive way."

Letang said this method is worthy of NBA legend Michael Jordan.

"Like Michael Jordan says, do you think the other guy is going to give you a break during the game tomorrow night, or ask permission to block you and get in your face?" continued Letang, who didn't pull any punches in delivering his thoughts. "To me, Jordan, who is asking more and more of his teammates, looks like a total jerk, but it's 100% certain that he has allowed nine of the other 10 players to be better than expected. Today, those guys have what, six [championship] rings? I don't know why people are criticizing him."

Letang has already won three Stanley Cup, in 2009, 2016 and 2017, so it would seem that this way isn't as bad as you might think. Number 58 is willing to do anything to win the big honors, that is the ultimate goal of all athletes.

"I'm an athlete and I don't know why I'm playing hockey if I'm not trying to win a championship. So it takes what it takes," he said. "If it takes a superstar like Michael Jordan to tell me I'm rotten today and I should start waking up, well that's it. In the end, are they going to send you a letter telling you to wake up? No."

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