Scottie Pippen Comments on Kawhi Leonard Comparison

Daniel KramerFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2016

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14:  NBA Legend Scottie Pippen #33 competes during the Degree Shooting Stars Competition as part of the 2015 NBA Allstar Weekend at Barclays Center on February 14, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The similarities between Kawhi Leonard and Scottie Pippen are uncanny. 

In his fifth season, Leonard has proved himself to be a strong swingman with shutdown defensive skills and regular offensive improvement while playing for a consistent championship contender. 

Sound familiar? Pippen thinks so:

Pippen won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls during their dynastic run in the 1990s. Leonard has one ring thus far, and he nearly had another before his San Antonio Spurs fell in Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals. 

It’s not just their demeanor on the floor and athletic build that have created comparisons—the numbers are similar as well:

Scottie Pippen vs. Kawhi Leonard—Stats Through 1st 5 Seasons

Some former icons bristle at any comparisons to today's era. Oscar Robertson took a jab at Stephen Curry last month when he said the reigning MVP is so successful because today’s defenses are much weaker. And the long-standing argument over who’s better between Jordan and LeBron James seems endless. 

But in an era where the old generally anoints itself above the new, Pippen’s comments are a refreshing change.