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LeBron says he’s no Jordan, no matter what Pippen thinks

May 28, 2011, 10:04 PM EDT

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat Getty Images

Scottie Pippen took plenty of heat for having the temerity to put anybody on Michael Jordan’s perch.

Especially somebody half the country hates.

It stuck his as a bit early to say a mid-career LeBron should be on that level. And LeBron feels the same way, he told Marc Spears at Yahoo, although he dances around saying Jordan is better.

“I got a long way, long way to be mentioned as one of the all-time greats. Not even just Jordan – there are a lot of great players who have played in this league: Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and all these guys that are floating around with multiple rings. Bill Russell. All of these guys who have pioneered the game for myself and [Dwyane Wade].

“I’m gracious, humbled by Scottie’s comments with him being a teammate of his and seeing Michael on a day-to-day basis. But as far as me? I don’t know. I’m not going to sit here and say I’m better than Jordan or if I’m not better than Jordan. It’s not about that.”

Maybe someday we can have that conversation. Not yet. And LeBron is going to have to flash some rings to get into the club first, let alone be invited over to Jordan’s table.

  1. jw731 - May 29, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    MJ was and is the greatest athlete i or anyone will ever have been lucky enough to live during his career, will ever see….Why the hell is this even up for debate…come on now….my pop had wilt, i had MJ, we argued over this alot, but i never backed down….Sure as hell not gonna here

  2. cordae - May 29, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    People are so brainwashed. What makes you think Jordan, Bird, or Magic (especially Magic) would’ve done what LeBron did their first seven years? Well Jordan did, sort of. Chicago was much like Cleveland in Jordans era, no one really cared about them until scottie got there. Yes, I said Scottie, because people were saying the same things about Jordan then, that you all are about LeBron now: world full of talent, no jumpshot, and no supporting cast. Before some idiot crucifies me for the jumpshot comment, Jordan didnt develop a solid jumper until his 6th year (go look at the stats). For some reason Jordans career seems to be a blur BEFORE the rings when people discuss it. I think that should be mentioned just as well, because their careers are very similar. In no way am I saying he is on the same level as Jordan, but people weren’t sold on him either until the 3rd ring. Seems like you have to go above and beyond to get people’s approval.

  3. diablito0402 - May 29, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Sorry. Jordan set the bar sooo high he changed the game. Jordan made the nba what it is today. Jordan was idolized world wide. Jordan made nike yes he did. Jordan was hated for the reason he couldn’t be stopped or denied. And about pippen, he would of been an average player at best without jordan look at the stats of pippen when jordan retired or didnt play.

  4. olsherm - May 29, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    purdueman I bet you wouldn’t have said that if he was still with the cavs

  5. olsherm - May 29, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    diablito0402 the cavs had no one on the team besides Lebron he can’t play all day everyday he was tired give him a break

  6. diablito0402 - May 29, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    I understand i like lbj and i give him a break but please dont mention lbj and jordan in the same sentence thats all im talking about.

  7. balleriq - May 29, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Rings carry weight but it twists the truth somewhat, Lebron had good Cavs teams that he carried without a legit number 2, but which championship team has won a ring in the modern day era without a Robin type guy? From all the names that have been mentioned here on comments, everyone of those guys had significant help. To win a championship, you need a team, and it’s the managements job to surround you with a championship caliber ball-club, and it’s up to the players/coaches to make it work. Lebron isn’t on Mike’s level, but that’s just one fans’ opinion, Pip actually played with Mike I’m sure he knows better than any of us.

    Fact is, Kobe won nothing without prime Shaq/Gasol, Timmy wouldn’t have won without the admiral/Parker/Manu, DWade without Shaq, etc. DRose and the Bulls this year just proved how different playoff basketball really is, if you only one legit offensive threat, then you will not win it all. A poster above me mentioned how Mikes’ pre championship years are largely overlooked and he’s right, they are, cause for the most part, Jordan didn’t do much aside from scoring alot and dunking, but his luck changed when they traded for the rights to the #5 pick on 1988.

    • gor76 - May 29, 2011 at 11:07 PM

      During Mike’s prechampionship years, he didn’t no much aside from scoring a lot, dunking, and winning the 1988 Defensive Player of the Year award.

      • gor76 - May 30, 2011 at 9:19 PM
  8. balleriq - May 29, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    My bad, meant ’87…

  9. diablito0402 - May 29, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Pip played with jordan but i really think pip said what he said so his name could be in the news since he has been forgotten. And what better way to be in the news without breaking the law than to say somethin really stupid.

  10. diablito0402 - May 30, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    Agree he only dunked his pre championship years, but the next few years when he won championships he went from good player to astronomical awesomely uncanny absolutly best player on the planet and the history of the game. And bron bron aint going to do that, i hate to say it but he aint gettin better than what he is. Jordan made that huge leap after his 6th year, bron in his 8th you hear me. And bron bron had to jump on another superstars team to acomplish his goals, he couldn’ t get anyone to come play with him in cleveland.

    • gor76 - May 30, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      The thing is, MJ didn’t only dunk. MJ was also a defensive force, winning the DPOY in 1988, something LBJ has yet to do. If you compare their per-game numbers from their first 8 regular seasons, LBJ is a slightly better passer (7.0 assists vs 6.0) and rebounder (7.1 rebounds vs 6.3), but he also turns the ball over more (3.33 vs 3.05). However, MJ had more steals (2.7 vs 1.7), more blocks (1.1 vs 0.8), a better shooting percentage (0.519 vs 0.479) and free throw percentage (0.874 vs 0.744), and scored more points (32.3 vs 27.7). After 8 seasons, MJ had more MVPs (3 vs 2), more championships (2 vs none yet), and more finals MVP awards (2 vs none yet). LBJ has a chance to cut MJ’s lead in championships and finals MVPs in the next couple of weeks, but he’s going to have to continue to win them as well as improve his shooting and defense by a lot to be in the same conversation.

      Stats taken from nba.com.

    • cordae - May 30, 2011 at 4:26 PM

      Do your math. “Bron bron” is 26, and on his way to a “possible” ring for his second time. Jordan didnt win his first until he was 27. He still has time. And who’s to say what he will and wont do next year. He’s already proven there’s no telling what his game is capable of. That’s something only greats posses, like Jordan, Magic, Larry, and even DRoses game is showing rapid improvement year by year. Once again, I’m not saying he’s any Mike, but give credit where its due. The only “reasonable” argument anyone has now IS the ring thing…

      • gor76 - May 30, 2011 at 9:17 PM

        There are more reasonable arguments with stats, but the ones I posted aren’t showing for some reason. Anyway, at the end of his 8th season, Mike had 2 championship rings, 3 MVPs, a defensive player of the year award, and 2 finals MVPs. “Bron bron” has 2 MVPs and none of the other stuff, but does have a chance for a ring and a finals MVP in the next couple of weeks.

  11. risingsun83 - May 30, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Lebron is a gr8t player not worthy of this much credit.

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