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Scottie Pippen does not think LeBron is better than Michael Jordan

Jun 24, 2011, 8:48 PM EDT

Charlotte Bobcats v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

After the Miami Heat defeated the Chicago Bulls in five games behind some incredible offensive, defensive, and crunch-time performances by LeBron James, former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen went on the radio and said that he believes LeBron “may be the greatest player to ever play the game.”

A few weeks after LeBron folded in the Finals and the Heat lost in six games to the Dallas Mavericks, Pippen went on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning show and clarified some of the comments he made after the Conference Finals (hat tip to ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell):

“The comments that I made were basically giving LeBron some props as a player, not to dismantle any player like Michael,” Pippen said after a youth camp session at the Bulls/Sox academy. “We all know that he’s the greatest player that ever played the game.

“I think it was taken a little bit out of context. I felt like I was drawing more of a conclusion from the statistics more than the accolades…

…Pippen said he’s spoken to Jordan multiple times since he made the comments and there is no rift between the former teammates.

“I talk to Michael all the time,” Pippen said. “There was no problem between me and Michael. I think [the media] chewed into it a little too much.”

Well, this shouldn’t shock anybody. As everybody knows, Jordan retired with six championships. LeBron just blew a golden opportunity to earn his first ring. Until LeBron bounces back from his 2011 Finals performance and gets a few rings of his own, any comparisons to Jordan should probably be put on hold.

  1. edmazeing1 - Jun 24, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    To late man next year (IF) heats are back in the finals, he will jump back on LBJ wagon!!!

  2. norcalraider510 - Jun 24, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Pippen took his pills and came back to earth, just last week pippen told me that brian scalabrine wasent the G.O.A.T SMH the things crazy people say when they dont take there pills

  3. therookie773 - Jun 24, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    We don’t even know if lebron will end up having a better career than Kobe, nevermind pippen or Jordan.

  4. jjared1101 - Jun 24, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    “LeBron just blew a golden opportunity to earn his first ring.”

    I’m starting to just accept it (lack of credit and praise), but i have to defend my Mavs one last time before the offseason.

    Maybe LeBron didn’t so much blow a golden oppurtunity so much as the Mavericks just used a good defensive strategy that exposed the Heat’s weakness. Maybe you (John) just meant that he blew his oppurtunity because he was in the Finals, but the way you phrased it struck a nerve with me. Following the Mavericks since the “Three J’s” (Jim Jackson, Jammal Mashburn, Jason Kidd), this championship has been bitter sweet for me and most Mavericks fans.

    It seems that many people are forgetting that there were two teams in the Finals. LeBron and Wade are both slashers that drive the lane and distribute or finish. Dallas/Jim Carey recognized this, and forced ,LeBron mainly, in to outside shots. LeBron and Wade are definately capable of hitting from outside, but it’s not their strength. You see what happens when LeBron is denied access to the paint. Dallas had the ability to adapt to their style like they have every team this last year, and it cost the Heat. LeBron is an amazing player, but he’s not with out his weaknesses.

    So Dallas’ defense played great (well…maybe not the first 1 and 3 quarters), and they took that “golden oppurtunity” away from James and the Heat. Not so much that he “blew” the oppurtunity.

    Dirk didn’t blow an oppurtunity in 06, Wade seized it. Just like LeBron didn’t blow this oppurtunity, Dirk seized it. MFFL.

    • writtenbyross - Jun 25, 2011 at 8:34 AM

      The Mavericks absolutely won the finals more than the Heat lost. Lebron did quit (again) but it’s because the Mavericks wore him down and beat him into submission.

  5. passerby23 - Jun 24, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Lebron “may be the greatest player to ever play the game” was taken out of context? Come on, Scottie. Scottie was drinking the kool-aid in the playoffs when Lebron was going off. After a poor Finals, the luster has worn off, and now Scottie is saying the media spun his words. Sometimes words are taken out of context and sometimes people say that when they regret saying what they did.

  6. egls7 - Jun 24, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    He’s only saying this because lebron lost smh

  7. goforthanddie - Jun 24, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    Scottie Pippen does not think LeBron is better than Michael Jordan

    1- Pippen doesn’t think.
    2- Pippen doesn’t matter.

    • downtowndanny - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:21 PM

      when you find a player that does what PIP did, then you can say that. At this point Lebron doesn’t matter.

  8. thesaint23 - Jun 24, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    heck lebum “the queen” james is not even as good as brian “the custodian” cardinal! (lol, lol)!

    the queen will never be as good as jordan or kobe and he will never be the man that George W. Bush is and was!

    jordan – 6 finals – 6 titles
    kobe – 7 finals – 6 titles
    lebum “the queen” james – 2 finals – 2 chokes – 0 titles.

    one has to wonder if lebum invited r. lewis, d.west, gloria and his girlfriend to his party to celebrate another non title.

    anyone that refers to himself “as the king” without having accomplished nothing has the ego of a termite {lol}!

    God Bless America & George W. Bush

    • jizzojames - Jun 25, 2011 at 1:32 AM

      Um, This might be a crazy question, but when did Kobe get 6 titles? Last I checked he only has 5!! If you look at it closely Lebron will eventually be a champion. The Heat will figure it out, and “All will be right with the world” lol.. Its not even fair to be comparing players because Lebron is great in his own right. I bet you this, if Lebron decided to take his talents to your favorite team you wouldn’t hate so much. I’m not a Lebron fan, I’m a fan of the sport and Lebron means a lot to the sport. He has the potential to do great things. Just think about it..

      • larsonjs - Jun 25, 2011 at 2:14 PM

        Interesting Lebron fans always talk about what he WILL do. The concept of potential is an interesting thing because most athletes never reach their potential. They cruise along through their careers and either through laziness or fear, they never come through when it matters and actually do what they are capable of doing.

        Lebron has potential, I will give you that – but until he gains a little courage and fulfills some of that potential, he can never be called a great player. He’s an amazing physical presence; but like the characters of the wizard of oz, he needs some brains, some heart and some courage.

      • connaniii - Jun 25, 2011 at 8:32 PM

        Let´s not forget that out of those 5, the first three were more the work of O´neal, cause if it hadn´t been for his presence Kobe most likely woudln´t had been able to accomplish it on his own!

      • downtowndanny - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:23 PM

        yeah just like you had the potential to write a post that actually made sense, just like Lebron you blew it!

    • egls7 - Jun 25, 2011 at 1:34 AM

      You’re a tad off. Kobe appeared in 7 finals but only won 5 of them. And stop saying god bless george w bush. He’s part of a secret society called The illuminati

    • cosanostra71 - Jun 25, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      kobe only has 5 titles so far!

  9. arc44 - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    LeBron James is a great talent, that is obvious. I live in Cleveland, but was never a fan of his. He is a stat-machine, but not a winner, there is a huge difference. Comparing him to Michael Jordan is absurd. Michael was the most confident and driven player I have seen play the game of basketball. James thrives when things are easy, Jordan dominated when things were difficult.

    • jizzojames - Jun 25, 2011 at 9:00 AM

      This comment is right on the money!! Lebron’s been the best person on every team he’s played on, and that team most likely has been declared “The best team”. When things are easy sure he looks like “The King”, but when things are difficult you see he’s a mere pauper. Michael Jordan faced adversity and won, numerous times!! I think to compare Lebron to Michael isn’t fair to Michael!!

    • connaniii - Jun 25, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      I couldn´t have said it any better!!!

  10. catman72 - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    …and even if LeBron does win a ring or 6, MJ never had a player the caliber of Dwayne Wade on his championship teams.

  11. Squawk and Awe - Jun 25, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    It’s the only argument I need Sean!

  12. jersey73 - Jun 25, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    Did he use the Charles Barkley defense? “I was misquoted in my autobiography?”

  13. thesaint23 - Jun 25, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    the pip realized that he was WRONG in his assumption about “the queen” when he once again “CHOKED” during a big series – so when are the apologetcs for lebum going to realize that the poor devil is NOT the man that ya all wish he could be?

    maybe the heat will win if a championship if they sign or trade for brian “the custodian” cardinal or if
    they sign or trade for players like him.

    hit a 6 instead of 5 (five) when referring to the nba titles that kobe has won! (lol, lol).

    what’s wrong with writing “God Bless George W. Bush”?

    thought that hussein was part of your so called secret (fictitious) society “the illuminati” ! (lol, lol, lol).

    once again lebum will never be the man that “W” is and was!

    God Bless America and George W. Bush

    • almzor - Jun 27, 2011 at 11:43 AM

      If you don’t understand in 2011 why someone might take issue with your typical signature line, you’ve spent the last decade under a rock. If you’re too obtuse or disinterested to figure it out, I hope nobody does you the courtesy of engaging you on it.

  14. crazyguy358 - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    you shouldnt compare lebron to MJ. if anyone it should be kobe even when they got swept he didnt say the things lebron said. the nba is. 10% skill/talent 90% mind if you can do so much in the eastern playoffs and choke in the finals i dont think he should be called the king nothen dont compare him to MJ never.

  15. lebronjamesisbetterthanmj - Jun 25, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    LEBRON IS WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY BETTER THAN MJ. NOTSAYING HE ISNT GOOD BUT LBJ IS BETTER. AND YOU CAN COMPARE KOBE TO a 14 year old high school player!!!!

  16. mistercharitystripe34 - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Man, everyone takes everything out of context. Pippen merely claimed that LeBron is arguably a greater all-around player than Jordan. LeBron is NOT a winner or scorer or shooter or finisher like Jordan. No one is. However, LeBron is already one of the best (probably will end up being the best) passers and rebounders in the SF position to ever play ball. Only Larry Bird and Rick Barry were incredible passing forwards before James.

    Has LeBron choked? I guess. I wouldn’t call it choking because in the last two playoffs he just outright disappeared from the game. Problem with LeBron is that everyone’s been telling him he’s been spectacular and great since high-school, so he’s never taken summer breaks to work on his game and add some go-to offense. LeBron’s problem is that he’s afraid to drive because his FT% is mediocre, so teams beg him to shoot long, step-back jumpers. Against Chicago they were falling and he looked unstoppable, but Chicago was the easiest team of the elite teams to defend because they were one-dimensional on offense (Rose in a 1/4 set). Dallas realized how to defend LeBron and LeBron realized that Dallas figured him out, and he shit his pants. Only way LeBron wins a title is if he develops a low-post game and an automatic mid-range shooting game (and try to improve his FT%). No one would ever be able to guard him after that, and then the rings would come with great frequency.

  17. wozzmann1955 - Jun 25, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Put the Bobby Layne curse on LeBron,,he dont win a championship for 50yrs!!!
    His decision was a bad one,,,too bad turkey,,,talk later

  18. granadafan - Jun 25, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Terrible backtracking by Pippen. What a fool.

    • downtowndanny - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:29 PM

      i understand what Pip was getting at, because as a player the league hasn’t seen anyone with the skill set Lebron has, but he lacks heart. MJ and Kobe refused to lose, they turned it on in the 4th quarter and willed their teams to victory. When Lebron turns that corner, he potentially could win as many or more than the both of them, but reality says he gets 3 at the most, and thats be generous.

  19. deiong - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    jordan makes his teammates better, by pushing them hard in practice, lebron doesnt understand how to do that. sure lebron is a start and even a super star, but isnt even in the same class at all, but then he knew that hence why he took the easiest way to a ring he could and somehow messed that up :) well good luck dude, maybe go to church a little in the summer, learn how to have a good work ethic, and who knows, the sky could be the limit.. he just needs to grow up a whole lot and learn if he wants to be the best he has to want it. cause nothing comes for free that is worth anything…..

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