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: Jan 16, 2009
Posted on: May 27, 2011 10:00 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

Scottie Pippen is a goat!
This guy is just made at MJ. James is having a good playoffs but come on. Better the MJ what about Bird or Magic? James isnot  better then Kobe or Shaq.

Since: Dec 17, 2010
Posted on: May 27, 2011 9:34 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT


LMAO.  Thanks for the good laugh. This may have been the craziest comment (next to SMAN's comments) I have ever read. Now you have to explain to everybody the "He was better than MJ" comment. I really hope you were trying to be funny. Are you a relative of Scottie Pippen? People compare Kobe, LBJ, Magic to MJ and you come up with the Pippen was better than MJ comment. LOL. 

Since: Feb 13, 2009
Posted on: May 27, 2011 9:25 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

Are you kidding me? FLOPPED!!!!Surprised

Pippen brought the team to a 55 wins ( just two shy of 57 they on the previous year) and won the playoff series all by himself.
And when he actually lost - he lost in 7 games to the eventual finalist.
If you take the second best player from any team now or then - team never wins title.
Pippen came the closest to the situation (Nash got closer later).

Since: Dec 17, 2010
Posted on: May 27, 2011 9:13 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

Hey Wolfdawg go youtube "Is Michael Jordan The Greatest Ever?" Where even Magic said MJ was the best of all time.  Maybe you would value Magic's opinion since he played the game. FYI Jordan has had 2 triple-doubles in the playoffs. I love how Jordan haters like to say silly things like how many triple-doubles MJ has had or how come he never lead the league in assists, he is not an all around player, the players of today are better athletes (but don't mention how they are lacking the basic fundamentals) blah blah blah. Bottomline when LBJ gets his 6 NBA rings, 6 NBA final MVPs, 5 NBA regular season MVPs, lead the league in scoring 10 times, 9 time all nba defensive first team, than lets have a discussion about LBJ being the greatest. 

Since: May 11, 2007
Posted on: May 27, 2011 8:59 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

The reason Pippen is saying this, is because he`s jealous of Jordan. Jordan carried that team to six championships, and when he retired the 1st time, it was Pippen`s time to be "The Man", and he flopped, more than his ex-teammate Dennis"The flopper"Rodman. Look at queen james, in Cleveland, he couldn`rt carry the team to any championships, but in Miami, he`s got equal talent on the team with Wade, and Bosh. Jordan never had talented teammates like that in Chicago.

Since: Jul 6, 2008
Posted on: May 27, 2011 8:48 pm

Cavs the last two years

Lebron's team had the best record in the NBA in 2009 and 2010.

In NEITHER season did they even make the NBA Finals.

Not sure how many years (if ever) we have to go back to find a team that had the best record B2B years and failed to make the Finals either year.

For the record MJ NEVER lost a playoff series he started with homecourt advantage.

That's not something Wilt, Lebron, or Kobe can EVER say LOL.

Since: Jan 21, 2008
Posted on: May 27, 2011 8:43 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

Lebron labeled as the GOAT?!!!  Talk about jumping the gun on this one Pippen.  A guy who has not won any Championship let alone multiple Championships can't be worthy of this label.  The "GOAT" does NOT team up with the best to water down the competition so he can attain a ring. What he meant to say is that he's an "escape goat" that's sounds about right.  HEREY HEREY COME FORTH KING LECHUMP!!!

Since: Jul 6, 2008
Posted on: May 27, 2011 8:41 pm

Pippen without MJ and Bird's comments

In 94 Pippen had an excellent Regular Season.

In the playoffs when Jackson designed the last shot for Kukoc Pippen REFUSED TO ENTER THE GAME. Kukoc makes the shot and the Bulls win the game. Otherwise the Bulls propably get SWEPT in that series.

In 95 the pressure without MJ and Grant REALLY got to Pippen. The Bulls were in danger of missing the playoffs until MJ returned (they went something like 18-3 after MJ came back).

When Scottie had the chance to be "the man" after MJ retired (Part II LOL) he led the breakdown of the Blazers in Game 7 against the Lakers.

Now, to be fair after playing with Pippen on the "Dream Team" Bird said Pipper was one of the 5 best players in the NBA. Of course LB also said that MJ was greater in his career than Magic and himself.

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: May 27, 2011 8:27 pm

Pippen: LeBron may be the GOAT

Yea LeBron is so good he couldn't win without a bunch of other super stars.

Since: Jul 6, 2008
Posted on: May 27, 2011 8:26 pm

Do titles matter?

Because if so than Wilt (by his OWN admission) was not better than BR.

During an interview with Roy Firestone Wilt stated the Celtics won MORE titles with BR than they would have had Wilt been their Center instead.

Firestone immediately asked "Does that mean you are saying he was better than you?" and Wilt replied "No. I am just saying they would have won less titles with me as their Center".

I believe Wilt WAS the most TALENTED player to ever play in the NBA. I think the difference though is Wilt didn't always "bring it" ever night.

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