LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan: Scottie Pippen's Surprising Take
Talk about stabbing someone in the back. Scottie Pippen, the ex-teammate, wing man, and Robin to Michael Jordan, gave Mike and Mike in the Morning a shocking interview in which he said this:
"Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play the game. I may go so far as saying LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game."
Woah, slow down Scottie. You're going to give somebody credit for being better than the man who was the work horse in bringing Chicago its only six titles with you at his side? Other than Phil Jackson or Michael Jordan himself, you would be the only one to have a better take on the argument between these two phenoms. You said it yourself on Twitter:
"For all of you that don't know, I played the game you keep watching and cheering."
That's it in a nutshell, lack of grammar and all.
You played next to his Airness. Pippen, you had the best view in the house for his performances. You saw him throw it down in the Garden, leave the game to play baseball, only to come back and pick up where he left off and take a city by storm. Who am I kidding? Take a world by storm. Who else could win defensive player of the year and a scoring title in the same season?Michael Jordan was amazing, it goes without needing to be said.
But LeBron James is better? Is it actually possible?
All personal feelings aside, look at the playoff numbers alone, just to fit the current theme of the NBA.
Which player's performance would you rather have in the playoffs?
Player one: 28.7 points, 46 percent shooting, seven assists, nine rebounds.
Player two: 33.4 points, 49 percent shooting, six assists, six rebounds.
I'm sure most of you know which is which, but for the sake of a poll, let's leave them anonymous.
And that's just career playoff averages per game offensively. That doesn't include MVP's, defensive awards, All-Star appearances and scoring titles. Heck, that doesn't even include the players they both shut down on their way to the Finals.
What do All-Star appearances even mean anymore? Yao Ming is still making the All-Star team. Legends are made through winning Finals MVP's; that's the true statistic we need.
Michael has six of them. LeBron has yet to attain one. That's the usual argument for the Jordan outlook.
However, at the same amount of years LeBron has played, Jordan didn't have any titles either. At this point, he was taking his underdog Bulls into Los Angeles to battle the Lakers for his first title; he succeeded.
James is on the other side. He's taking his favored Heat into Dirk Nowitzki's Dallas Mavericks. If James wins this series, let the comparisons begin. For starters, both are the best of their time periods, easily. That's not even a discussion. Kobe fans, he's lost a step. Face it.
Obviously, there's going to be a bias towards Michael Jordan being better for many fans during the nineties. It's just natural. So what would it take James to overcome M.J.?
For starters, at least six championships. James will always be scrutinized for having Wade and Bosh at his side. He will have never led just his team to a championship as long as he plays with two other All-Stars, even though Jordan had his Pippen. "King" James will probably need more than that, though, as he will not be winning his share of MVP's any time soon due to the same reason.
James will need to win back fans, as so many were lost in the move to Miami. Jordan had the love of the people worldwide. James may have the highest selling jersey in the league, but so many fans cannot muster the words for how much they hate him since leaving Cleveland. Maybe it's because they wanted him on their team, he beat their team, or they unfortunately live in Cleveland and had to deal with his departure firsthand.
Jordan has such an advantage at the moment. He changed the game. M.J. was a part of a new breed of basketball that spread over seas and made the NBA a household name not only in the United States, but in parts of the world that had never dribbled a basketball before. Would Dirk Nowitzki be in the league without Jordan? Would he have ever shot a basketball? We may never know, but players such as Jordan influenced that.
James doesn't have that opportunity. It's already been done. He has to revolutionize the game in a way no fan has ever seen or expected. Maybe by forming the trio of superstars, he's done that. Boston may have done it first, but not to this extent. The Knicks seem to be following and don't be surprised if the Lakers do the same thing. This movement could be happening right before our eyes and we may not even be seeing it. James is changing the game, but we're too awed by talent, love, hatred and jealousy to even take the time to notice.
But James doesn't back down from the comparisons. He knows he has the talent to surpass anybody. Throw in some support from Jordan's best teammate and that's a good start to flying above the man who soared over all, LeBron.
See what you did, Scottie Pippen? You just threw a snowball to start a massive avalanche of debates. Is the "King" challenging for a new throne? Or will his Airness continue flying above every player in NBA history?
Time will tell the story. This argument will keep on rolling from now until another superstar reaches this mountain's peak.
Just imagine it; Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James, one-on-one. Wouldn't that be a spectacle?
To hear the interview that Mike and Mike in the Morning had with Scottie Pippen, follow this link:
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