LeBron James is widely considered one of the best, if not the best, basketball players, and his individual accolades and team success prove it. But, like any debate, there’s always one side that doesn’t think so. In LeBron’s case, one group thinks he’s out of the “GOAT” discussion, while another thinks he’s ineligible for inclusion on Mount Rushmore of basketball talent.
Back in 2015, Scottie Pippen seemed to be one of the latter. And, in an odd choice of comparison, the former Bulls forward compared himself to the four-time NBA MVP to make his point. Whether it is self-deprecation or pretense of self-appreciation, one can only guess.
This statement is questionable as a whole and is bound to cause discussion in NBA circles. Pippen said when comparing himself and James:
“Before LeBron James, I was LeBron James. It’s so far apart. They want to compare him to the greatest player, whether it’s Michael or Magic, but he’s closer to myself.”
However, context is key in many ways. In 2015, LeBron established himself as one of the greatest players in basketball. However, he has yet to win a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers and claim the crown as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Why this matters: Pippen changed his mind about the Lakers star when he compared him to the likes of Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson.
Scottie Pippen changes stance, calls LeBron James basketball’s ‘greatest statistician’
While publishing last dance James continued to climb the scoring and assist charts while adding championships, including a 3-1 reversal, which may have also led to the revision of Pippen’s statement.
“LeBron is going to be the greatest statistical figure in the history of basketball. No one can compare to him. No. So does that make him the greatest player in the history of basketball? I’ll leave that question up for debate. Because I don’t know. “Don’t believe in one great player because our game is a team game and one player can’t do it,” Pippen said.“Hot Sauce” podcast.
While there’s still some room for Pippen to slip into the “LeBron James is the GOAT” camp, he currently seems to be trending in that direction.