YAHOO- At the ripe age of 26, LeBron James(notes) has won two MVP awards, he has two NBA Finals appearances, several All-Star berths, and his Miami Heat team will be the odds-on favorite to win the NBA title next week as they prepare to take on the Dallas Mavericks. He also has zero NBA titles.
At the same age, NBA legend Michael Jordan had just as many titles, just as many MVP awards, and his Bulls weren’t even the favorites (despite home court advantage) as they prepared to take on the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1991 NBA Finals.
All this was enough for Jordan teammate and guy-who-should-know Scottie Pippen to toss this out, while appearing on ESPN Radio Friday morning:
“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play the game. I may go so far as saying LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game.”
Whoa, guy. Seriously?
(And is he actually wrong?)
No, James hasn’t surpassed Jordan in any meaningful way yet. He hasn’t won jack, in comparison to MJ’s six titles. He hasn’t simultaneously won a Defensive Player of the Year in the same season he led the NBA in scoring, though that might be Dwight Howard’s(notes) fault more than anything else. And because James joined the Miami Heat midway through his career, he’ll never be looked at as the singular drive behind any championships he earns. After all, when Jordan won his first ring in 1991, Pippen hadn’t even made an All-Star team by then.
But parsed correctly, tossing in a “might be” before “the greatest player to ever play the game,” and following that with a “when all is said and done,” Pip has to be taken seriously, here. James is 26, and he might be the greatest player to ever play the game when all is said and done. A lot of us have felt that for years.
Pippen, as you’d guess, has been put on the defensive. Fans are getting after him on his Twitter account, and earlier on Friday he posted this:
Ah, Scottie, you don’t need to be that defensive. You may be the most versatile defender in NBA history, but you don’t need to darken the mood, here. You just need to brighten, and clarify. By any reasonable standard, be they rings or Player Efficiency Ratings or “I seen ’em”-recollections, Jordan is the best ever.
But LeBron James? He has the talent and the time to surpass him. And for those of us, “watching and cheering,” that obsessed over every one of Jordan’s minutes in his prime? We can understand that.
It’s on you now, LeBron. It’s not on Scottie. Because he could be right.
You have got to be kidding me right? Another Friday going great and then something stupid puts me in a bad mood. Last week it was Macho Man dying and now I have to hear that Scottie Pippen has lost his mind and thinks Lebron is the best player to ever play the game. I’m not going to get into a bunch of different stats and show how Jordan dominates in all of them including championship rings. The numbers don’t lie, if you want the different stats go look them up for a comparison between Michael Jordan and Lebron James.
The thing that really bothers me is the person who is saying this idiotic statement, Scottie Pippen. Hey Scottie you’re welcome for the 6 NBA Championship Rings that MJ gave you. Also you’re welcome for MJ making you the player you are, without him you would have been a mediocre player that nobody mentioned. So this is how you repay MJ for everything. You go public and say that Lebron is the best player. This has to be a publicity stunt for Pippen right? Scottie must have gotten rejected to appear on Dancing with The Stars and needs some type of media attention right? I just don’t understand how Scottie can be serious here. I would expect an idiotic statement out of someone who doesn’t understand the game that well or someone who is too young to have seen MJ play, but not Scottie, I mean he did “Play the Game you keep watching and cheering.”
Now I might be being biased here because Jordan is my favorite player and I can’t stand Lebron James. Jordan is/was/and will forever be a leader. He rocked the number 23 when it was ugly and made it a number that everyone wants to wear including Lebron. The baggy shorts, the fade away jumper, playing with the flu all originated with MJ. Players now can only hope to impersonate his game. Now if people have the sniffles they are “playing with the flu”. Every NBA player wants to “be like Mike”. MJ is the original and is by far the best to ever play the game of basketball. MJ took an underdog team like the Bulls and made them legendary. At a time where he could have called it quits because he didn’t think he could get it done by himself, instead of teaming up with some of the best players around him, he took it amongst himself to work harder with what he had for a team and bring them to greatness (6 times). He was a competitor that overcame any challenges in his way, whereas Lebron goes the easy route, has a live press conference (The Decision), and goes and teams up with a new “Big Three” (again being unoriginal). Simply put, MJ is the best, and Lebron is an unoriginal cry baby. Scottie needs to stop putting drugs up that big nose of his because he has lost his mind.