Scottie Pippen Is Not Crazy….But….

28 05 2011

And I’m not even a huge Lebron James fan, but I do respect his game.  Scottie Pippen recently has made news all over the place about his recent comparison between Michael Jordan and Lebron.

Scottie joined the Mike & Mike radio show the other day and really stirred the pot….

“Michael Jordan may be the greatest scorer to ever play the game, but I may go so far as to say LeBron James is the greatest player to ever play the game,” Pippen told Mike and Mike.

I for one understand where Pippen is coming from here.  Pippen for one HAS to be projecting that the rest of Lebron’s career stays on the same path as his first six seasons.  He may have wanted to rephrase that statement and say IF Lebron stays on track he COULD be the best player ever.  There’s not denying that man’s talents.  Both were complete players, but up until this season Kobe Bryant was still the best player in the league, a title Lebron may have reclaimed after an aging Bryant seemed to have slowed down finally.

Both were great defenders, Jordan was defensive player of the year in 1987-88, which is typically an award given to centers and big men who with their shot-blocking can alter a game more than most guards, but none the less was able to achieve the award once, whereas Lebron has been over shadowed by Dwight Howard who has won the award three consecutive years.

Lebron’s defensive abilities were on display in the last round of the playoffs when a lot of the time he was matched up against the leagues MVP and a smaller guard in Derrick Rose.  In fact he dominated Rose.  At the ends of Games 4 & 5 when the Heat needed stops Lebron switched to guard Rose and was able to maintain the MVP outside on the perimeter not allowing D Rose to get inside which he likes to do.  When guarded by Lebron, Rose went 1-for-15 (6.67%) with three turnovers when guarded by LeBron.  That is shut down defense, and defense when his team needed it the most.  The defensive comparisons are very warranted. Lebron is most likely the best defender in the league that guards outside the paint.

When it comes to passing the ball, Lebron probably gets the nod as he is one of the most court aware players I’ve seen since Magic Johnson.  MJ was definitely more of a shoot first pass second players and rightfully so, but Lebron gets his teammates more involved than most people give him credit for.  Both get to the hole equally as dominate, complete push there.  MJ had the more deadly jump shot, when he developed his patented fade-away jumper, it was as close to unstoppable as a move there was in the league.  Lebron probably would get the edge in rebounding, and this isn’t an issue of will on this one, just pure physical abilities.  Lebron is a freakish 6’8 and 250 lbs. whereas MJ was 6’6 and 215 lbs.  Lebron is able to use his body a little easier to bang around with the big men.  Overall MJ is the greatest player ever….but in about another 12 years this comparison won’t seem so asinine.

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