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: Mar 7, 2011
Posted on: May 28, 2011 3:51 am

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

hcprez.....You're easily humored & that's a good thing

Magic says Lebron is better? Better than who, Eddie House? Michael Jordan? 
And why do ppl get so serious when talking about Sir Michael Jordan?  Is he royalty? No, he was a super great basketball player who wore a smelly jock strap made by Hanes...

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2011 3:19 am

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

Aimhigh...none in the top 10 would agree with you.   Only the Championship is lacking....and that soon to be over.  


Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2011 3:17 am

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

darko  you're funny.

Magic says Lebron is better.  Bird was not as good as Magic.  Lebron is better than Kobe RIGHT NOW.  Kobe has more accocmplishment.


Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2011 3:15 am

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

The only players in modern basketball who even belong in the same sentence as Jordan are Kobe & Hakeem
As I said, the argument is completely subjective.  It's all about who you like and who's game you appreciate.  In my opinion, I struggle to put Bryant in the top 10 of the guys I've watched.  But the current guys will always carry more favor among current fans.  Crap like that got Scottie Pippen named to the Greatest 50 Players team.

Since: Mar 7, 2011
Posted on: May 28, 2011 2:54 am

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

The only players in modern basketball who even belong in the same sentence as Jordan are Kobe & Hakeem...Magic & Bird were great but had weakneses...Magic wasn't at all a pure shooter, similar in style to Jason Kidd....Bird was a weak man defender, similar in style to Nowitzki....By the year 2020, it's possible guys like Lebron & Blake Griffin could make Top 5 ever list...And Wade is a much better 2nd fiddle than Pippen...

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2011 2:47 am

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

They may win this year, but he needs to win a few more, and he needs to do better than 40% from the floor.
Agreed.  Despite the fact that he's shooting worse this playoff year than the last two, despite the fact he's shooting better than Jordan did in at least four playoff years, that he's outrebounding and outassisting Jordan, and that James is hitting seemingly every clutch shot, he needs to do more. 

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2011 2:16 am

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

Pippen wasn't very good- just look at what he did when Jordan wasn't around- NOTHING.
Pippen wasn't very good? 

You lost any shred of credibility right there.  I have always disliked Pippen almost as much as I dislike Bryant, and that's saying something.  Some of that has to do with him wimping out when coach called Toni Kukoch's number instead of his and refusing to play.  But it's moronic to say he "wasn't very good".  Simply ridiculous and absolutely baseless. 

Pippen was never an MVP talent?  Agreed. 

Personally, I don't think any single player would have won a championship with the team and coaching that surrounded Lebron James.  That's part of the reason its so stupid to put so much emphasis on championships when one guy has never and will never win one.  All of these arguments are subjective and the GOAT argument is in the eye of the beholder.  People will argue the impossible "so and so would have won 10 championships with those teams....blah, blah, blah."

Since: Mar 14, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2011 2:09 am

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

thought I corrected.  top 10. 

But, I guess to add on further.  Not even is he the best player in the league currently. 

Since: Mar 14, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2011 2:05 am

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

I have watched basketball about as long(er).  I think LeBron is a good player.  Not an all time great and blatantly not the best player.   Seriously Pippen was smoking crack to come up with that one, 

Tremendous ability, and great potential, but he is in too much need of a surrounding cast to carry him.  There is no doubt. He is a great player with great ability, but he is, (not even, as though that should be an insult in the tope10).

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2011 1:51 am

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

Many of you sound like the idiots "I" used to listen to say "JORDAN will never be as good as Bird or Magic"   or   "Jorday is good but he's no Russel"

I've watched Basketball about 35 years seriously, and NO ONE,   I repeat - NO ONE have I ever seen can do all that Lebron James does - PERIOD.


James is a different Animal.   You've just seen Jordan Again. - KOBE.   Like him or hate him, and weather he likes it or not, Kobe "IS" Jordan,  He plays like him, he acts like him, he interviews like him, he has the killer instinct he had....he's sickeningly GOOD.   That said, KOBE is not Lebron.

YOU can post what you like.  You can call me names.  None of it will matter.

NO ONE knows better than Scottie.

By the way....the guy who posted Scottie only went to the second round without Jordan....are you some sort of fool?   OF COURSE HE DIDNT!  Jordan was not on the team! And there were other good teams.  Geeeeeeesh.  You need to have said how far the "DID!" get with only Pippen.  A testiment to how good he was. 

In the 90's, The "MIKES" were icons.... Jordan, Jackson, TYSON......and  ALI before the article touts.

ALI was the Greatest, but ALI was not the "BEST BOXER EVER"   It was a Package.   I like the fact that the write made that distinction.  Jordan was an ICON, AND the Best.

LEBRON JAMES has not been seen before!  What Scottie is saying is what a PLAYER would say.  ON THE COURT........NOT HOW YOU FEEL....BUT ON THE COURT....NO NONE does what he does, and no one can.    

  AND NOW..the one thing "I" Personally thought he was lacking( even Wade had it), he now has.  A Killer Instinct.    &n

Nothing is going to stop James from winning a Championship.  And for those that hate him....know this.  That Team will be "BETTER" next year.


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