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Pippen: Jordan greatest scorer ever, LeBron best player

May 27, 2011, 10:48 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game Five Getty Images

Scottie Pippen has said what will be viewed as no less than blasphemy in Chicago.

The Hall of Fame player was interviewed on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show Friday morning (via’s Sekou Smith) following the Heat’s comeback win to eliminate the Bulls and he compared Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play in the game, but I may go as far to say LeBron James is probably the greatest player to ever play the game. Not only can he score at will, but he keeps everybody involved. You have to be on your Ps and Qs because everybody is a threat to score when he’s on the floor. Not only that, LeBron James will dominate the game on the offensive end and he’s able to do it on the defensive end as well. He can get in those passing lanes and dominate the game.”


Not sure we’re there yet, Scottie. For the record, Jordan was dominant on the defensive end as well. No doubt LeBron has a fantastic all-around game, and I’ll even agree he is a more natural and gifted passer than Jordan.

But Jordan learned hard lessons about keeping others involved and when that sunk in sufficiently (and he was put in a system that promoted that) Jordan was good about keeping teammates in the game. Including Pippen. That is how the Bulls won those six rings.

And not to sound like Jason Segel in those Bad Teacher trailers but… Jordan has six rings. LeBron has none. It’s the only argument I need.

But that rings argument may be changing soon. And eventually this could be a different discussion. Remember Jordan was 28 when he got his first title, LeBron is only 26. We are nowhere near the end of this debate.

Here’s the video of the conversation, via CSN Chicago.

109 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. loungefly74 - May 27, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Lebron better than jordan right now? no. if Lebron wins a few titles and keeps his numbers high, then quite possibly. my equation for the greatest ever is something like this:

    GOAT = # of titles * stats + % of “alpha role” * defense + individual awards * era played + longevity

    …with my scientifically (sarcasm here) proven formula, Jordan is the best ever…right now.(okay…obviously not very scientific but you get the idea that several factors come into play)

    with that said, my PERSONAL opinion who the GOAT is using that formula:
    Jordan (he who has no beginning or end)
    Kobe (alright, kobe is my fav…secret is out)
    magic ( the original “lebron” with the rings)
    Russell (sorry bill, the era thing hurts you)
    kareem (been around so long, he played games against FDR)
    shaq (a beast…had no equal)
    wilt (awesome stats)
    duncan (a coach’s dream)
    hakeem (could have been a ballerina with his moves)
    bird (moxie up the ying-yang)

    i know i left off some great guys like oscar, jerry, etc…i admit being biased, i didn’t see those guys play because i wasn’t even born yet! bill makes the list because the # of rings is undeniable. i’m just a big believer that the older era guys would not have the impact against today’s stars and i feel that way with all sports.i know duncan is a “boring” pick but the guy has done it all. spots 2-5 are interchangeable, but hey, i’m a kobe guy, what can i say? okay, lebron did not make my top 10 because his career is far from over. the other actives guys on the list are in the twilight of their careers. that being said, Lebron could/will crack my list, maybe end up number 1, when he is holding a handful of titles.

  2. randysavage4ever - May 27, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    pippen just mad that he a lifelong robin to Jordans batman.

    MJ probably didnt hook him up with $$$ either

    NOWHERE in the universe is Michael Jordan in the same sentence as Lebron James, Kobe maybe…

    but its simple 1 player can shoot, the other can not…

    to be the best PLAYER – shooting is involved.

    & Jordan would have got people more involved…BUT THEN AGAIN WHY WOULD HE? – Hes the greatest player of all time , THE BULLS BEST OPTION WAS GIVE IT TO MIKE!

  3. jordinh - May 27, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    There are things that LBJ does better than MJ and vice versa. But to say he’s a better player? Obsurd, even if LBJ wins 10 rings. I’ve personally seen Jordan win more games by himself then I’ve seen LBJ. But both have done it.

    One fact for sure… I would rather watch and old Jordan Wizard play over LBJ any day.

    Also, I think Pippen is mad that while he was a player on the Portland Trail blazer, MJ told Ron Harper on the Lakers “I’ve tough you well, now go out and get a championship ring”. I think there is a rift between Pippen and Jordan is why Pippen is saying this.

  4. jordinh - May 27, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    Pippen is going to feel the heat after those comments for a LONG time. It was a stupid thing to say. LBJ has moved himself out of the top 50 greatest player ever by joining with 2 other top ten players.
    I’m sure Pippen’s own family is letting him know how stupid he is.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 1, 2011 at 2:45 PM

      If LeBron is not on everyone’s top 50 then obviously there’s an agenda.

      I can see taking Bonds, McGuire, and Clemens out of the “Best Ever” category in the MLB hierarchy because they cheated. But taking LeBron out because he came to a better team?? Makes no sense at all. Hell wasn’t Pippen on that list at some point? And he played with Jordan! get over yourselves LeBron haters it’s skewing your vision.

  5. barkley4life - May 27, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Lmao your an idiot if you think he’s moved out of top 50 because of that…another bitter hate comment. Just be upfront say you hate him and your biased instead of posting stupid comments on how the best player in the game isn’t…you Wizards comment says everything about your hate. The guy may be an egotistical dick but to use that to take away from his game makes you and others look downright ridiculous. They just ran through two teams you morons had them losing to and now your still making up bogus arguments.

    Jordan…Pippin, Grant, Kukoc, Rodman, Harper

    Bird….Mchale,Johnson,Parrish, Ainge

    Magic,…Kareem, worthy, Thompson, Scott, Divac, etc etc…

    And if any of them were on bad teams that couldn’t win a title they would’ve jumped at the chance…free agency was not what it was back then.

    • jordinh - May 27, 2011 at 9:12 PM

      LBJ had to merge with 3 mega starts to win rings. He will eventually win 5 or 6. Jordan never had to merge with anyone. They all came through trades and drafts. The roster on his first win had no hall of famers other than Pippen. You took the best players from his entire tenure with the Bulls and made it look like they they all played at the same time.

      LBJ, while I like him as a person (and Wade). Merging with 3 rock stars to form a Dream team is LAME! He will NEVER be considered MVP again because he has so much help. He will never be considered top 50 greatest of all time.

      LBJ is no MJ. That is something to LYAO. Now go back to high school and get an education and stay away from drugs you freek!

      • progress2011 - May 27, 2011 at 9:35 PM

        Jordinh….you have ZERO facts or logic. Check the stats from the season.

        1. His numbers are all around better than D. Rose.
        2. Check the stats from the Bulls series, he outplayed Rose / the MVP in EVERY category
        3. He played 4 positions, at different times…whatever was needed
        4. Then he shut down the MVP on defense. The MVP went for 6.3 % shooting when LBJ guarded him
        5. Lastly, he took over scoring when Wade and Bosh were slumping. AND he hit almost EVERY clutch shot in all the playoffs they have been in…check the record !

        Where your facts at !!!

      • rbrown4495 - May 31, 2011 at 12:03 PM

        Very dumb response to say jordan never merged with great players just because a GM put them together instead of Jordan convincing Scottie, Kukoc, Rodman, Grant, Harper, Cartwright, Paxson, Kerr to all sign on 1 team. U BIG DUMMY, THAT IS A MERGE . I guess you only accept it if some fat guy with a cigar in his mouth who has probably never played ball in his life makes a few trades to put together several great talents that win championships. Dumbest thing I have ever heard

      • barkley4life - May 31, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        First getting an education would have taught you “freek” is “Freak” lol

        Second your prolly under 25…think because you were Jordan’s that you know basketball but you don’t.

        Third…Jordan made 33 million alone in one YEAR IN SALARY ALONE IDIOT. You dont think the Bulls paid for a ring paying JORDAN 33 mill paying Kukoc Pippen Grant etc….

        Fourth…well I could keep going but its pointless….

    • progress2011 - May 27, 2011 at 9:29 PM

      Barkley….everytime I get ready to say some genius stuff, you have already laid down the law, in addressing the double standards some posters make. You are DRILLING them with hard core facts and logic ( which most fanatical fans don’t have ). Do your thang.

      • jordinh - May 28, 2011 at 1:58 AM

        LOL Progress. What does Rose and 1 series have to do with LBJ being the best player ever. As we speak now,
        FACT: LBJ has ZERO rings.
        FACT: Heat are the most hated team of any professional sports team EVER

        When LBJ hangs it up, you retards and Pippen can make judgement who the better player is. Until then… MJ is the best player ever. Even if LBJ had 10 rings, he took $30 mil less and moved to a different team. In essence, he PAID $30 mil for the ring, something MJ never had to do.

  6. tstreet - May 27, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Scottie Pippen is an idiot. That is the bottom line.

  7. gunner1970 - May 27, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Pippen wouldn’t be a Hall Of Famer if it wasn’t for Jordan. James has a long way to go before he the best at anything. He could shatter a leg this off season and then he’ll be forgotten about. Hold off on this greatest talk until he has some kind of legacy going.

  8. jordinh - May 27, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    If you want to know the answer who is a better player, 20 years from when Lebron has retired 5-10 years, there will be NO LBJ shoes in the stores. But, there will always be kids buying MJ’s shoes.

    The fact is, for everyone defending LBJ as the greatest player, if you had to chose who you want to watch play, you’d pick MJ in his prime over LBJ in his prime… PERIOD!!!

    Pippen is a retard!

    • progress2011 - May 27, 2011 at 9:46 PM

      More ridiculous comments Jordinh !!!

      1. Shoe sales is not a reflection of on-court skills/ the ability to dominate 4 positions etc.
      2. LBJ is only 26, who is to say he has even hit his prime. Usually that comes around age 30 ( Jordan won his first championship at 28 ).
      3. Who an individual chooses to watch is based on what you enjoy. Some people enjoy watching a guy jack up 40 shots and make 15 ( aka kobe ).
      Some people like watching Big men dominate the paint ( aka Shaq, Howard, Griffin etc )
      Others like myself, like to watch guys with fundamentals, with the versatility to play or dominate numerous areas of the game ( aka Magic, Bird, Isiah, LBJ etc )

      Stop calling people names. It does not intimidate anyone ! Bring some facts to the table and be willing to defend them……….SCRUB….ahahaha…sorry I couldn’t resist.

  9. jfkmadness - May 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    Wow. This is just a travesty. This is like Robin saying Aquaman could kick Batman´s butt.

    LeBron is not even on Kobe’s level yet, let alone Jordan’s. The NBA’s defensive rules are so watered-down today. Jordan did three times as much as LeBron does today, but MJ did it playing against much, much tougher defenses. Also, Pippen should be the first to know that Jordan was one of the top, if not THE top defensive player in the league for several years. Jordan never quit on his team like LeBron has done in the past.

    LeBron James is a fantastic player, and he is on pace to be the best player in the NBA for years to come. But he is not better than Jordan was. And probably never will be.

    The competitive fire, leadership, and relentless will power, set Michael Jordan aside as one of the most unique athletes ever across all sports .

  10. norcalraider510 - May 27, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Brian Scalabrine(G.O.A.T) >>>>>>>> Jordan,Kobe,Bird,Magic,Kareem,Lebron,

  11. diablito0402 - May 28, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    Wow LBJ tha greaterst ever. What ever happened to Le Choke. Or Le Brick. Wasnt he like 2 for 22 field goals made with 8 secs at the end of games to tie or take a lead. How quickly people forget. Come on man michael jordan, wasnt he the athlete of the last century. LBJ could win 10 titles he still woulnt be half of mj was.

  12. diablito0402 - May 28, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    Every one talks about how lbj could rebound better block more shots, etc. Mj will blow him away with his mental toughness. His will to win, and his will not to loose. Like the great Pat Riley said of mj when he scored 63 on him and he did it with a triple team on him all game long. Sorry people no discussion here about whos better. Not even same ballpark, or city, or country, or continent, enough said. We can bury this discussion for ever.

  13. edcolton - May 28, 2011 at 7:50 AM

    You heard the man (Pippen ) say. Jordan greatest scorer. James greatest player.
    He played with one and against the other.

    Why do so many feel sorry for Cavaliers/ they would’nt bring anyone to help James. He took less for coming to South Beach. Want to critizize him for that?

    Miami =truly a TEAM with 3 great players.

  14. crazyguy358 - May 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    lebron is good i admit that but you forget about kobe bryant to he got to play agaisnt jordan and play agaisnt him thats why he plays the same also when kobe was lebron age he was doing more. and even now kobe is still as good as james at old age also pippen didnt like jordan so lebron is good but theres people like kobe whos as good and look at people like durant and rose there just begging so hey theres never a guy good as jordan

  15. djwed - May 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM


    Here is a little reminder why Jordan is the the greatest player to ever play the game.

  16. jordinh - May 30, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    MJ and LBJ have there strengths and super strengths, neither had any weaknesses. I will just put it this way… MJ is the scale in which NBA super stars are measured. Lebron is an 8 on the MJ scale. There will never be another MJ and what he did overall.

    I still remember no matter which opponent stadium he played in, everyone cheered their home team AND MJ. Neither Kobe or LBJ can make this claim. No other player had done that. Its like Glen Rice said “Its hard to win when your home crowd is cheering Jordan every time he touches the ball. Even today, there is NOBODY that can provide the entertainment value Jordan does most notably, hang in the air. I really liked watching his progress that lead up to the 6 championship. He got better and better each year and learn to use his team mates better as the years went on.

    • barkley4life - May 31, 2011 at 12:28 PM

      LMAO Now your trying to sound smart….

      First if you weren’t a Bulls fan YOU HATED JORDAN. You qouted Glenn Rice… who the hell is Glen Rice…Miami Heat fans don’t even know who Glenn Rice is.

      Opposing stadiums cheered Jordan….really….you really want to say that…I think Utah…New York…Indiana…Detroit…Portland…Cleveland….etc would all have something to say about that.

      • southbeachtalent - Jun 1, 2011 at 2:50 PM

        Glen Rice was money!!!

  17. ezwriter69 - Jun 1, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    Pippen and LeBron share the trait of being quitters. Difference being, Pippen quit out of childish selfish anger, LeBron quit as a business decision, to make it easier to justify leaving Cleveland. Both are great players, LeBron ONE of the best ever; but for quitting, I have little if any respect for either.

  18. scir91onyoutube - Jun 1, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    yes but jordan had an ugly wife…and kobe had and continues to have the hottest wife in the entire NBA. and for that, he is the greatest ever. after all, after the game is over, the real game gets going in the bedroom, or kitchen counter, or the backyard

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