Blog Entry

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

Posted on: May 27, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 12:29 pm
Scottie Pippen says that LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game. 

Posted by Matt Moore

Bulls fans are having a bad morning. They lost the Conference Finals Thursday night. They blew a double-digit lead late as LeBron James flew by them like they were standing still. And this morning,  Scottie Pippen, Bulls Hall of Famer, Jordan's running mate, said on ESPN Radio Friday morning that LeBron James, the most hated man in Bullsland? 

Pippen says he's the probably the greatest player of all time.

“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game,” Pippen said. “But I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he is so potent offensively that not only can he score at will but he keeps everybody involved. You have to be on your Ps and Qs on defense. No guy on the basketball court is not a threat to score with LeBron James out there. Not only will LeBron dominate from the offensive end as well, but he’s also doing it on the defensive end which really makes him the complete package. He’s able to get in those passing lanes, shoot those gaps and create transition opportunities where he is pretty much unstoppable.”
via Pippen: “MJ Best Scorer, ‘Bron Best Player … To Ever Play The Game” « | Hang Time Blog.

Whoa, there, Scottie, let's not go nuts, here. 

The problem here is the word "is." If Scottie had just thrown in a "could end up as" or a "has a chance to be" this isn't an issue. Because everyone recognizes how great LeBron's game is. But the results haven't been there.

Fair or not, and you can make the case it's not but it doesn't change anything, we judge athletes on results more than performance. More specifically, we tier players based on performance, then judge them based on results. An example: everyone would agree LeBron James is a greater player than Robert Horry, despite Horry's impressive ring total, because Horry was never "the man" on a team. Jordan, however, is considered a greater player because he won six rings while being the man. And was totally unstoppable in nearly every situation. Stunningly, this is an area where both people who love and hate stats can agree. The numbers say Jordan is nearly untouchable. 

And the fact remains, Jordan did win those titles. He is that icon. There's a massive sense of overinflation of Jordan's accomplishments because so many writers and people in the target audience grew up in the era and Jordan was a cultural phenomenon as well as a basketball one. If you take all that away? He's still the greatest of all time. That's how big the gap is. There are other players you'd probably consider before LeBron as well. Russell. Chamberlain. Magic. Bird. Olajuwon. He's already a top ten player, but the best? No chance. Not yet.

However, Pippen does have one point. What player has made as much of an impact on both sides of the ball, and was as insolvable as LeBron? He guarded the MVP point guard into a nightmare series. He rained threes to get his team back from down 11. He's a two-time MVP. He's on the verge of winning a ring, and should he do so, there's a great chance he can win several more. Win three, why can't he win six? Then the conversation starts.

Then, not now.

For now, we have to respect history, even if Scottie's too close to the trees to see the forest. This isn't about LeBron teaming up with other great players or any sort of hypocritical, hyper-critical nonsense. It's just about the results. And until James possesses those results, Jordan remains the GOAT.  

(One last note: This is actually the best thing Pippen could have done for Chicago. Instead of focusing on how their team choked away leads multiple times in this series, how the MVP fell apart and failed them in the biggest moments, how all their regular season success resulted in a gentleman's sweep to the hated Heat, they can all rally around the greatest player in city history, remember the good times, and feel good about themselves again. This is the Pippen media version of Batman taking the blame for Harvey Dent in "The Dark Knight.")

Since: Feb 13, 2009
Posted on: June 1, 2011 10:17 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

Thanks for understanding
It is hard to find somebody who trully understand the game. Over the years I got tired fighting the "fans" like Andru.
And of course Scotti is little bit jelous - he ahs every right to be!

Whouldn't anybody be jelous if somebody else ALWAYS ripped the fruits of your hard labor? I would.

Since: Feb 13, 2009
Posted on: June 1, 2011 10:12 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

Nicely put BuckManster.
I wish I had your writing skills.
I disagree with a LOT of what you said and we can argue about that but it was sure nicely written comment.

Since: Jun 5, 2008
Posted on: June 1, 2011 5:05 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT're an idiot man. Outside_View tore you to shreads!  He presented ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING to destroy your weak little arguments.  If Jordan is so valuable to his team how did they drop 2 games than the year before with him when he decided to ABANDONED his team to strike out in baseball?!!  MVPs are voted on and Pippen probably deserved 3 of those finals MVPs.  Trust me....if the Heat win it this year it's going to LeBron! Arguments can be made every year the MVP is given.  You know what's not voted on?  The fact jordan had like a 2-9 playoff record pre-pippen.  One accomplishment Jordan never proved he could do w/out Pippen was win a title.  Wasn't he better the older he got? Where are the big playoff runs with the Wizards? Can't he make another Pippen??? Not!!!! Remember when Phil made Pip a point forward cause Jordan turned the ball over too much to bring it up court??? I do. The only clueless basketball fan here is you Andru!

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: June 1, 2011 2:31 pm

Scottie's STILL Jealous?

Looks like Michael forget to send Scottie a Christmas card again.  (Sigh)  Scottie Pippin was a great player.  A great scorer, rebounder, and defender.  A better 3pt shooter than MJ.  Could run the court like a deer and defend nearly anyone.  A unique player and a legit HOFer.  Michael doesn't win six titles without him.  But, at the end of the day, you could always see that he resented being the "little brother," the Robin to MJ's Batman.  And you always knew that he resented it mostly because he knew that--for all his gifts--he didn't quite have what it took in mental toughness and killer instinct  to be The Man on a championship team.  He needed to be the #2 guy, and he was one of the best #2s ever--but that's what he was.
Used to be that wasn't such a bad thing-when the good of the team was what mattered.  But now a championship isn't really a championship if you aren't The Man.  (Right, Kobe?)  Scottie Pippen has nothing at all to be ashamed of for not being Michael Jordan--can't someone explain that to him??  I mean, he was an incredible player with a combination of athleticism and talent and size that we may never quite see again.  But apparently that wasn't enough, and he's never learned to live with being Michael's sidekick.
Or to understand that inane comments like "LeBron is the best" only highlight his insecurity and resentment.

Since: Feb 13, 2009
Posted on: May 30, 2011 11:05 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

1.MVP tropheys are given by people - they are subjective not objective.
2. To make a game winning shot you must take it - Pippen did not have a chance - it was not his role to play.
3. Pippen stats from the 1994 - when Jordan left - were great despite the fact that the team lost their "presumably" best player without ANY replacement. He led the team to 55 (two shy of their previous year) wins and handily won his first playoff series only to lose in 7!!! games to Knicks who later took Houston to 7 games in the finals (they actually led 3-1). THAT IS A FACT.
  Do you know any team today who would loose their best player and still manage to 55 wins - like maybe Cleveland?
4. When Pippen got to Portland he took Blasers within 5 (or 6 I don't remember exactly) minutes from the finals and eventual 7th championship when refs bluntly gave the game to Lakers (rent DVD and watch the series) - that's an accomlishment Jordan never had.THAT IS A FACT.
5 . In 1992 when a Bulls faced their by far toughest competition in all six championship yrears Jordan almost cost them game 6 (and most probably the championship) by his horrible play you know what Phil did - "Phil Jackson would go with four reserves and Scottie Pippen to start the fourth quarter, cutting Portland's lead to three after only three minutes" That is by the way from Wikipedia, although I rememeber it vividly - I watched the game (unlike you).THAT IS A FACT.
6. Throughout the last 15 years I have heard numerous times when players refered to somebody who was haviely favored by the refs as "Michael Jordan" - most notably Kevin Garnett when he was fined by the ligue for that. Do you think Garnett is nobody like you and me? Does his opinion matter?

Stop hating and arguing like a girl - I have told you what to watch in that case, didn't I?

Since: Oct 20, 2009
Posted on: May 30, 2011 1:17 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

TheJza: "If Wilt were dominating the likes of Russell, Abdul Jabbar, Shaq, Robinson, etc...we can talk.  He dominated midgets comparatively."

Here's how great Wilt was....Wilt was way past his prime (age 35) and he still averaged over 20 rpg vs a young, prime Kareem Jabbar (age 25) in head to head competition.. Wilt was the only man blocking the skyhook. Then years later when Jabbar was past his prime he would dominate guys like Hakeem who was better than Shaq, Duncan, Robinson....Not even Hakeem could average 20 boards vs Jabbar, not even when Jabbar was past his prime. Imagine what a prime Wilt Chamberlain would do to these guys today. BTW, a skinny 6'9" small foward named Dennis Rodman would lead the league in rebounding, so what does that say for guys like Shaq and Duncan? There was only one Wilt and he was the most dominate of them all. 

 ....Jordan was a LOCKDOWN defender

Is that why they had to put Pippen on Magic in the 91 Finals? Yeah the Bulls lost game one in Chicago because MJ couldn't contain Magic.

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: May 29, 2011 12:21 am

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

TheJza: "If Wilt were dominating the likes of Russell, Abdul Jabbar, Shaq, Robinson, etc...we can talk.  He dominated midgets comparatively."

 You need a better NBA history book. Wilt DID dominate Russell for years and he also played very well against Kareem, even though he was nearing the end of his NBA.

Since: Dec 17, 2010
Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:24 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

@Outside_View Where is the evidence that Pippen is better than Jordan? You presented ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  How many MVPs did pippen get? How many game winning shots did Pippen get? What are Pippen accomplishments without Jordan?  Other than YOU who has even claimed Pippen as top 10 all time or even better than Jordan? ONLY YOU. Your opinion is worthless with your blatant lack of knowledge of basketball. I made you sick? Thanks I like making clueless basketball fans like you sick. 

Since: Jun 5, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2011 10:24 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

What an idiotic comment Hawkman.  Pippen did nothing when Jordan wasn't around. Uhhh....u remember ' know....the year Jordan abandoned his team to strike out in baseball.  The Bulls dropped 2 games the following year w/out Ballhog Jordan.  Jordan was like 2-9 in the playoffs pre Pippen so I guess he did NOTHING when Pippen wasn't around.  I won't even mention his joke of a stint with the Wizards.

Since: Jun 5, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2011 6:21 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

As far as the Cavs getting swept in the finals the supporting cast LeBron had compared to Jordan is not comparable.  LeBron carried that team to the finals.  Jordan could never carry the bulls to anything unless he had Pippen.  No, Jordan owes HIS entire career to Pippen, whom without would have 0 titles and never proved he could come close to gettintg one w/out him.  1-8 in the playoffs w/out Pip. 
I found it funny when you said Pip abondoned ship.  Jordan was the one who abandoned ship to go strike out in baseball.  We saw how valuable he was to his team then didn't we.  Phil in his book Sacred Hoops said he thought the bulls may not make the playoffs.  Instead, they drop 2 games from the following year with MJ and almost make the eastern finals. Sounds like MJ's importance to his team was vast overrated!!  Had Pippen left to go play baseball the media never woulda let him live it down cause it woulda been his fault Jordan never won any more titles! sweet that would have been!

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