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Alonzo Mourning says Scottie Pippen says LeBron would “kick Jordan’s ass”

May 20, 2013, 11:52 AM EDT

The video above was a reminder to Alonzo Mourning that there is no privacy anymore. Not anywhere. (And if you think Jordan’s legacy would be the same in today’s world of cell phone video and 24-hour news/blog cycle as it was in his era… you should ask Steve Kerr about that rock show on the road.)

Mourning was speaking at the opening of a Microsoft store in Miami and got asked the inevitable “LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan” question. Now, remember that Mourning is a member of the Heat organization — he has a dog in this fight. His money quote:

“I’m gonna tell you what Scottie said. Scottie said that LeBron would kick MJ’s ass. And I said, ‘Scottie, you’re right.’”

Way to throw Pippen under that bus, Alonzo.

Have at this in the comments.

All I will state is what I have said about LeBron since the poorly-handled decision — it is too early to judge his ultimate legacy. The man is 28 and in his prime, talk to me in 7-10 years then we can start to put some perspective his body of work.

One other note to the MJ defenders out there (as if he needs defending): Spare me the “he never lost in the finals” argument. Yes, he never lost in the finals because the Pistons handed him his ass in the Eastern Conference three straight years. Everyone has to learn how to win at the NBA level (Magic Johnson being the exception to the rule), MJ just couldn’t get his team to the finals and learn on that stage, he lost in earlier rounds and learned there. That doesn’t make him less or more of a player, just don’t pretend he sprung fully formed from the sea foam like Aphrodite.

Hat tip to Daily Backcourt for the video.

107 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. andrewproughcfe - May 20, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    >” That doesn’t make him less or more of a player, just don’t pretend he sprung fully formed from the sea foam like Aphrodite.”

    No, Jordan did not turn his team around and compete for championships from year 1 or year 2. But Duncan did. And Bird did. And Kobe did. And Kareem did.

    MJ took four years to get out of round 1, and five years to get to a conference finals. Think about that. He was well on his way to becoming Tracy McGrady. Lebron and Shaq had already taken lesser teams to the NBA finals by that time in their careers.

    • long7575 - May 21, 2013 at 3:36 AM

      What the hell are you smoking! Duncan had David Robinson and Sean Elliot, Kobe had a top 5 center of all time in Shaq. Kareem had magic. Comparing Jordan to Mcgrady is the stupidest thing I have ever heard! You obviously don’t know crap about basketball!

    • datcrazybok - May 21, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      Duncan turned around a Spurs team that was a constant presence in the playoffs until the year before… when David Robinson got injured and the Spurs lucked into the lottery. Duncan didn’t turn that team around.

      In fact, none of the examples you mentioned turned a team around. Bird? Kobe? Kareem? You could have come up with much better examples if you wanted to make a valid point. Bird and Kareem both played with Hall of Famers. Kobe forced his way out of a bad situation, Charlotte, immediately after being drafted just to get to Los Angeles in the first place.

      Lebron and Shaq both got their backsides handed to them on a platter in their first Finals. And both jumped ship shortly thereafter to chase an easier route to a title.

      I’m not entirely sure what your overall point was. I just found several of your premises to flawed.

    • dcrog79 - May 21, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      Just because Jordan took time to blossom you wanna knock him down a few notches? One thing Jordan did do when he did blossom, was face defense in the league that doesn’t even exist today. They soften the NBA so much, so what LeBron can score easy, DAVID STERN fixed it for these new guys to do just that! When was the last time you saw a BIG MAN just sitting in the lane waiting for you to come to the rack so they could knock you on your arse?! When was the last time an entire teams goal was to knock LeBron on his arse if he got in the air like the Pistons did to Jordan? Never. LeBron would be a peon in MJ’s day.

      • hehateme2 - May 28, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        LeBron would be fine. He’s much bigger and stronger than Jordan ever was.

    • bullysix - May 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      @Andrew you forgot to add when MJ got to the finals he never lost, furthermore MJ on his way to become racy Mcgrady man you should be pimped slap for even putting McGrady in the same sentence with MJ

  2. dirtydrew - May 20, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Sorry, but the ” Jordan never lost ” does matter. When he lost three times to Detroit, he did not run to go join Dominique Wilkins in Atlanta so he could win. He stayed, and won 6, no losses. Not getting to the finals and failing to pull the wagon. He was the man every time. Just like Joe Montana. Sorry Tom Brady…you don’t measure up.

    • Kurt Helin - May 20, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      The team built around Jordan with Pippen and Horrace Grant and eventually Rodman and others was vastly superior to the teams the Cavs built around LeBron. The question really is, would Jordan have bolted if he didn’t think the talent around him could win?

      • byoung976 - May 21, 2013 at 10:01 AM

        Are you serious? Stop posing hypotheticals and deal in facts: Fact: Jordan remained on a weak team and willed those around him to improve and get better. He didn’t run from Detroit, he found a way to beat them. A Detroit team who had just won the Finals 2 years in a row. Dallas was hardly not even close to the level of Detroit. The team Jordan stayed with; they were all role players. Need I say Bill Cartwright…are you serious? Jordan left for 2 years and in his First FULL season back won the championship again. Stop drinking the Lebron Koolaid. Lebron not only lost IN THE FINALS but got swept and then bolted to a team who already had a MVP FINALS player. Lebron went to a championship caliber team and didn’t get the job done in his first season. If you believe Lebron is even close to being comparable….I got some WMDs from Iraq to sell ya!

      • datcrazybok - May 21, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        I would say that if we’re comparing Jordan to LeBron, Jordan definitely waited through more. I guess we’ll never know if Jordan eventually would have bolted. But, LBJ took the first chance he got. No way LBJ was taking three straight butt-kickings from the Pistons without needing someone to cuddle him to sleep every night to stop the incessant wailing that inevitably rise from within when LeBron woke up sucking his thumb because of nightmares of “Bad boys, bad boys… what you gonna do when they come for you?”

        Jordan had that toughness. LBJ doesn’t. In my opinion.

      • bullysix - May 23, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        @ Kurt
        Would MJ have bolted please di he ever indicate that was something he would do? He wants to beat his peers not join them

      • omeglesite - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:29 PM

        byoung976 – Kurt’s hypothetical is apt and it should be the point of comparison between Jordan and James. The Bulls added Pippen and Grant 3 years into Jordan’s tenure; later they won 3 championships in a row together. They lost Grant but added Rodman. In the face of a front-office that is committed to winning by adding the right pieces, Jordan’s decision to stay with the Bulls was the right one. LeBron’s decision was also the right one because the Cavs’ idea of a supporting cast was Zydrunas Illguskas and Delonte West. Different situation, different decisions – both Jordan and James made the right moves given their circumstances.

      • macka4 - May 30, 2014 at 7:26 AM

        He didn’t (leave) for 7 years. He deserves credit for that. Backs up his claim when he said “when I played I wanted to beat (Larry and Magic) those guys. I never thought of calling Larry, calling Magic and saying I wanted to join them.” Like “King” James. Or rather unlike James.

    • walygator1967 - May 20, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      dont worry tom, you did it without an all-pro wide receiver. if you had jerry rice you would be invincible.

      • ursemployees - May 21, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        he had randy moss with a career year and still lost in the superbowl talk about choking in the big game!

  3. fotydaze - May 20, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Magic originated playing with and showmanship, Bird elevated the workman like aspect off the game to a new level. MJ combined both of those and created a style that transcended culture. Lebron is a great player, but he pales in comparison to those three. He shrinks in big moments, that’s why he left Cleveland in the first place. Getting them to a title would require a toughness he just doesn’t have, so he took the easy way out.When MJ was struggling he didn’t quit on Chicago, Let me add that Lebron was struggling with his team having the best record in the league two years straight when he left. Whether Scottie was talking one on one or overall, he’s wrong. MJ had a killer desire lebron never will. He would never let lebron beat him.

    • mytthor - May 21, 2013 at 2:11 AM

      Yeah, no. Jordan didn’t leave Chicago because he didn’t have to. They brought the hall of famers to him.

      LeBron shrinks in big moments? Like when he ripped the throats out of the Boston Celtics singlehandedly last year? And locked down Kevin Durant in the finals?

    • gswgoboom - May 21, 2013 at 2:33 AM

      All I hear is “Lebron isn’t clutch, he doesn’t have the killer instinct”. The statement is apparently based on his finals performance in 2011.

      Let’s be real, only an idiot would say something like that. Like Durant missing the game-tying bucket in game 2 of the finals last year… or missing the clutch free throws down the stretch against Memphis this year. Is he not clutch? Does he “lack the killer instinct?”

      The simple answer is no. Taking a series or a few games in order to make the blanket statement that a player is a certain way, or lacks a certain thing misses the essence of who the player is.

      Lebron will retire as one of the greatest of all time AND YES he will be up there with Michael, Larry, Magic, etc. The statement that he “pales in comparison” to those three is idiotic.

      • micahmincey - May 21, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        I’m apologize. The comparison I read was LeBron to MJ, Bird and Magic, not to KD. The fact that LeBron purposely left Cleveland to join other superstars to win a championship DOES matter because it showed he couldn’t do it by himself. Chicago never had the best record when Michael was losing, but Cleveland DID. I think someone ought to take a chill pill and look at the facts for what they are and not sweat over someone being called a “choker”. I don’t think LeBron is a choker NOW, but he MOST DEFINITELY choked when Cleveland had the best record (2009 and 2010) and he was their best player…

      • rexloveshisfeet - May 27, 2013 at 4:20 AM

        Lebron left Cleveland after having the best record two straight years and since than they have had the number one pick two times and and a top 5 pick. What does that say about the supporting cast? Sorry the Cavs organization never drafted a Scottie Pippen (Top 50 all time) and Horace Grant. Oh but they did lose a budding star in Carlos Boozer after LeBron’s first year in the league because the Cavs wanted to be cheap and sign him to a contract of $35 Milliom for five years. Which ended up screwing them because they were eventually not allowed to sign him and he get $70 million from the Jazz. How is that LeBron’s fault. Maybe if they built a team like the Thunder around LBJ HE WOULD HAVE NEVER LEFT!

        So lets look at the draft picks after Lebron or before. Dajuan Wagner, Luke Jackson, 2nd Round pick Anderson Varejao (who was good but not great and very raw at first), Shannon Brown, Daniel Gibson, JJ Hickson… Do I need to go on here.

        He took a team who clearly sucked to the top of the league every year and got exposed in the playoffs when he was playing good teams deep in the playoffs. Did he need to learn and grow up as a player most definitely. But to say that he had a team Kobe or MJ had when he was on the Cavs is just straight up laughable. Lets take out Pippen and Grant and put average or below average players in their place you think Michel wins his three titles or even six? Lets say the Bulls get their first free agent signing to pair up with MJ and they spend all that money on Larry Hughes. Oh that’s gonna make MJ a champ again. Oh don’t forget the bulls make blockbuster moves and bring Mo Williams, Shaquille on his last wheel and Antawn Jamison three years to late. Mo Williams to run the point was a great option a me first PG, something Michael and Phil Jackson would have loved.

        Please stop blaming LeBron for what happened in Cleveland. He did all he could do with that team. At some point you want to win more as an athlete of his magnitude.. How good would LeBron be if he came into the league with Shaquille O’neil as his center. How good would LeBron be if they paired him up with Pippen and Grant when he was about 22-23. You say all the crap you want about how great MJ was because I know he was. But your short sighted on what he was built around.

        Did the Bulls make the playoffs both years Jordan left to play Baseball? Or did they get top 5 picks both years? The only thing you can ever talk ish about LeBron was being to selfish to never develop a post game when he was younger because he would have been that much better. He took to long to work on that side of his game. If he did that earlier that could have made a difference but not much because his supporting cast on the Cavs was garbage.

        Cleveland Cavs might have been one of the worst overall rosters to ever make a finals appearance or maybe the 76ers with Iverson. Get your head out of your ass and realize all those players you say is better than LBJ had hall of famers and all stars built around them. MJ is better than LeBron. I will say that with no problem. Kobe is better than LeBron. MJ won his first title at 29. LeBron had his first title at 28. Let him finish his career and we can compare and contrast.

    • omeglesite - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:35 PM

      Yup, LeBron really shrunk when he and the Heat won the NBA finals last year. Scored 30 pts a game and about 10 boards per game, in route to the trophy. Your talking point about James is a few years out of date.

  4. sportsnut101 - May 20, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Zo way to be a man. Idiot

    We all know lebron would score on Jordan just like Jordan would score on lebron

    Is Jordan better then lebron at this point yes but lebron still has another 7 yrs at least of great n high level play Do I think lebron will pass 6 rings no I don’t. If this heat team stays together another 3 yrs I see two rings in future but that’s it

    The way to beat heat is physical play with the team n just play lebron one on one he’s not gonna score 60 cuz he always looks to pass so don’t leave the others open n u will have chance to win

    • mytthor - May 21, 2013 at 2:46 AM

      Jordan wouldn’t be able to slow LeBron. LeBron is faster, quicker, stronger, and more athletic. Nobody could stop Jordan but he never played with anyone close to LeBron’s defensive level. He might be the most underrated defender in the history of the game. He’s like Gary Payton in Karl Malone’s body.

  5. explosionsauce - May 20, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Of course Kurt would write this

  6. qpoiu1 - May 20, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    it reminds me of stephen a. smith’s rant…THAT IS BLASPHEMOUS

  7. walygator1967 - May 20, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    did michael jordan come of age in the 90’s or were the 90’s just the aging of the lakers, celtics, and pistons. were the real best players of all time magic, bird, and thomas. was the reason mike won in the 90’s due to competition. why isnt a point guard that played center in the nba finals and has some of the all-time best assist stats considered for the best of all-time. if you want to talk championships then the best player of all-time is Bill Russell

    • txnative61 - May 21, 2013 at 12:05 AM

      Agreed—–talk Bill Russell, because everybody else got to study and learn from him, and he advanced the game the most in his time. Likewise LBJ benefited from Mike, so it’s not about now, its about now being a product of then. Without today’s physical training, coaching, and other advancements the game has made, I don’t see anyone kicking Bill’s ass.

    • taxiarchangel - May 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      When Bird joined the Celtics, there were three future Hall Of Famers ALREADY on the team: Cowens, Archibald, and Maravich. The following season EIGHT Celtic players averaged in double figure scoring!! …EIGHT!!!! A couple years later, some of them would be replaced by Parish, Mchale and Dennis Johnson (All HOFers). Later (1986) Bill Walton joined the team and came off the bench. Walton is also in the HOF. So by my count, Bird played with AT LEAST SEVEN Hall Of Famers!
      When Magic joined the Lakers, Kareem had just won his SIXTH regular season MVP! Kareem is a top three ALL TIME player IMO. There also Jamaal Wilkes who is another HOFer. Those three were later joined by James Worthy who Jordan played SECOND FIDDLE to at UNC!!!!! Worthy is also in the Hall. Bob McAdoo rounded out the list, taking their HOF total FIVE.
      The Detroit Pistions had four Future Hall of Famers on their roster: Dantley, Thomas, Dumars and Rodman. Those three teams won the bulk of the championships of the 1980’s. Jordan had a very weak team in the 1980’s and had to compete against those juggernauts. He played with one HOFer in Pippen, and won three straight titles. Rodman joined the team much later, and they won three more titles. That’s more than all of the stacked 1980’s teams did.
      THE END.

      • macka4 - May 30, 2014 at 7:36 AM

        Cowens and Maravich, while great, were at the end of the line. Archibald, good, past his prime. Walton, much like Cowens and Maravich. Yes, Larry had McHale, Parish and DJ (to a degree) in their primes. And that counts for a lot, no doubt. Yes Magic and Isiah had great players, too. But bringing up Pistol and Cowens is a bit of a stretch. No disrespect to either, but at that point, not really the case.

  8. jimeejohnson - May 20, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    LeBron’s the King, but Michael Jordan would find a way to win. LeBron should be compared with Kobe more, because they both play in MJ’s shadow. Everybody except Bird, and Magic, have.

  9. jbeagles23 - May 20, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    The next generation will say its definitely lbj the way a lot of people today say its mj. People will always have different opinions. A lot based on when they grew up. One day there will be someone else in the mix. I don’t know why we can’t just appreciate the fact we have someone to carry mjs torch. Superstars like both of them don’t come along often

  10. debeast90 - May 21, 2013 at 5:48 AM

    Sitting here reading all your comments and I am really pondering did anyone read the question?

    But in my opinion these two men have “different styles in what I consider to be different leagues!” If LBJ played during the same time period that MJ did then the answer would be that LBJ would demolish MJ, because of the way the game was officiated in the past! I don’t think Mike could get anywhere on LBJ if he was able to “hand-check” him.
    But if MJ was in his prime in todays NBA then I don’t think LBJ would have any chance of handling the offensive skill set that MJ brought to the court!
    As far as who has the better resume I think MJ has an advantage in the sense that not one of the coaching staffs LBJ has played for can even compare to the brilliance that Phil Jackson & Co. Brought to the game!
    To tell the Truth LBJ should have been in the finals the year that the big 3 won in Boston! Truth B told if the league’s referee’s were really consistent in the officiating of games then LBJ would have 3 rings already! he would have beaten dallas, and boston would have never been there to take part in the finals! But we all know that the league is ran by a tyrant. The officials let their emotions control how they do their job and even though they may have some sort of discipline system in place for the officials we still see the same inconsistent and erratic calls night in and night out!

  11. louhudson23 - May 21, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    When LeBron is no longer the biggest,fastest player on the floor,we will see what he can do,till then,it remains as it always will ,a hypothetical question……..we saw Jordan adapt to age,using the complete set of skills he possessed coming from the fundamentally sound background of his High School and College programs. Jordan was a better and more relentless one on one defender buzzer to buzzer(physically and mentally destroying some great players in the process),a far better shooter,a far better post player and one of the best at the psychological warfare that existed back in those rough and tumble days. LeBron is far bigger and faster,a truly wondrous athlete with some good skills……in terms of skill,take away their size and I believe Jordan would have been an All Star at 6′ tall,possessing skills in every aspect and that killer attitude that drove him relentlessly….. I believe LeBron would struggle at 6’….lacking the otherworldly size/speed combination that primarily makes him what he is……….without his size,Lebron could still see the floor and pass the ball well,but defend bigger players,rebound and shoot from the floor…….????? In the end,Jordan took it all so very personally,absolutely driven to play,driven to win and driven to make a lot of money….LeBron is simply a nice person, a tremendous athlete who enjoys the game and his life……..happy to play,happy to win and happy to make lot’s of money…..I know this because I have spent equal amounts of time hanging out with the both of them……..also a little known fact,Jordan is a successful owner of Micheal Jordan Motorsports,a motorcycle road racing organisation he started from the ground up with a young racer he met on the streets of Chicago…..He has earned a lot of respect from those in the racing motorcycle world for his commitment to a great sport….

  12. wpfairbanks - May 21, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    Note to NBC Sports and the author of the article: you may want to avoid stories saying ____ says _____ says _____. 2 says is called hearsay!

  13. mblue24 - May 21, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    MJ is the best and nobody in our lifetime will top that. Not eve Lebron.

    • patrickhrfrd - May 22, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      It’s hard for me to give Lebron the same respect as MJ, or Kobe. Sure, he’s winning now. But the way he had to go about it just lowered his stature as one of the game’s greats in my eyes. He didn’t become the best player in the league until he joined a bunch of other superstars who could take the pressure off of him. One on one, I don’t think he would hold a candle to MJ. Kobe shut him down not once, but TWICE in the all-star game this year. And I remember last year, Kobe standing over Lebron, punking him for being afraid to take the last shot too. Put Kobe, MJ, Dr. J, Dominique, anybody on a team like the Heat have now and people would be calling them the best player in the league.

      And in any event, the comparisons are moot. Because none of these guys measure up to Magic Johnson, the most amazing player to ever set foot in the NBA. You give me a 6’9 guy who can run the point with that much handle, who can DOMINATE at every position from his rookie year on, who can thrive and win in any system for any coach, I don’t care what anybody else does. Since MJ retired, we’ve already seen two or three players come along who are in the conversation with him. We will never see anyone compared to Magic Johnson. GOAT!!!

      • Kurt Helin - May 25, 2013 at 2:59 AM

        Yes, and Magic totally did it all on his own. He didn’t have one other superstar on his team.

        (Honestly, Magic is my favorite all time player and probably the guy I’d have on top of my GOAT list, but he had help. I don’t have an issue with LeBron leaving to get better teammates. I think if MJ had been surrounded by the crap LeBron was he would have left, too.)

  14. florida727 - May 21, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    True story: in practice, MJ dunks over Pippen and as he’s backpedaling down the court says, “Don’t worry about it Scottie, I do that to GOOD players too.” Think Pippen ever forgot? Scottie quit on his team in the playoff (remember, he wouldn’t go into a game). He wouldn’t be wearing any rings if he weren’t on Jordan’s teams. Period. He’s bitter that he ALWAYS played second fiddle to Michael.

    • Kurt Helin - May 26, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      Did Jordan quit on the team when he went to play baseball?

  15. dcrog79 - May 21, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    All I can say is you can’t even begin to compare guys today who have benefited from rules changes such as that big ole circle in front of the rim where you can get a blocking call if a big man is standing there as your drive to the hoop. And benefittinf from a 3 secs rule, and no handchecking rule, and hard fouls are no longer hard fouls, they’re flagrants. This league is soft on defense and it assists offense. Jordan had neither of those advantages and still has the best stats, and won six championships without jumping ship to go to another team that has half stacked. LeBron can take a seat to MJ.

  16. jtbsteeler - May 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    MJ put the Heat and Zo’s head to bed, hence the butthurtness.

  17. doctordunkenstein - May 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Deep down inside, we all know its true. MJ is the greatest of all time, no doubt. But LBJ is too big, too fast, too strong. MJ would be giving 2 inches and nearly 50 lbs to a guy who is just as athletic and skilled as he is. Don’t get mad, its just evolution. Just like Jordan wouldve beaten Dr. J, and Dr. J wouldve beaten Elgin Baylor…

  18. by19 - May 23, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    How can I resist…having watched both…for overall comparison…MJ by a mile. MJ had more pure skill – class – maturity than ” look at me…I know how to play basketball” LJ…not even close…jus’ sayin’

  19. jollyjoker2 - May 26, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    30 seconds left in the game… Lebron or jordon…Enough said. Jordon in a landslide.

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