Scottie Pippen delivered a shock to many basketball fans this morning on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning praising LeBron James as the best player to ever play in the National Basketball Association.
Scottie was quoted saying:
“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play in the game. But I may go as far to say LeBron James may be the the greatest player to ever play the game.”
He added “He keeps everybody involved and you have to be on your P’s and Q’s on defense because no guy on the basketball court is not a threat to score when LeBron James is active.”
It’s safe to say those are very controversial words coming from Jordan’s #2 man. But I don’t know if I completely agree with him. I do know where he’s coming from though. My argument is that Michael Jordan had a more complete game than LeBron. By that I mean, Michael had the athleticism, he was a great defender (winning Defensive Player of the Year in 1988), he had one of the deadliest mid-range jumpers in NBA history, and he could score from the low post.
With that, Jordan had the presence of mind to create openings for his teammates through his scoring and provide them with scoring opportunities as well. Jordan was also a better and more consistent rebounder than LeBron. Despite LeBron’s recent developments in the clutch department, there is still no comparison between the two when it comes to their roles on the team down the stretch. The list of clutch moments for MJ in the playoffs alone exceeds any number of those LeBron may receive for his entire career when it’s all said and done.
Michael Jordan is the Greatest Player Of All Time (G.O.A.T.). He lead the Bulls to six championships in eight years. He made the Chicago Bulls a team worth mentioning and formed them into a dynasty. I think LeBron is a great player and is easily one of the 50 greatest of all time but he’s not at the top of list.
On top of that, can we at least let him get a ring first before we crown him King of Kings? He still needs to catch Kobe (5) before he can worry about MJ.
If I’m not mistaken, the current count is MJ – 6, LeBron – 0.
And if we look at this even further, we can compare Jordan eight years into his career compared to LeBron eight years in.
Michael already had a championship under his belt (’91) and was working on a second (’92). He was a three-time MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, two-time Finals MVP (’91, ’92), six-time All-NBA 1st Team, All-NBA 2nd Team (’85), and five-time All-Defensive 1st Team.
LeBron has no championships. He is a two-time MVP, Rookie of the Year, five-time All-NBA 1st Team, two-time All-NBA 2nd Team, and three-time All-Defensive 1st Team.
I think it’s safe to say MJ had more hardware after eight seasons.
LeBron’s still got a ways to go.