The NBA’s Scottie Pippen wants to remind people that he was the legend that people should be comparing with LeBron James, and not just Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson. In the NBA, Scottie Pippen thinks he should be the natural comparison with LeBron James.
“I was LeBron James before LeBron James,” Pippen told Cleveland at the annual Nike Basketball Academy in Santa Monica, California last weekend. “It’s not even close.”
At the annual Nike Basketball Academy, Scottie Pippen, LeBron James and others ran drills, engaged in film sessions, and even did some beach yoga with some of the top high school basketball players in the country. The debate about the NBA/Pippen versus Magic Johnson versus Michael Jordan comparison came to a head when Pippen felt left out of the comparison. Pippen feels he is no slouch, and he is often left out of the conversation.
“They want to compare him to the greatest, whether it be Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson, but he’s more closer to myself,” Pippen said. “It’s natural for folks to say that, but if you look at how he plays the game and how I played the game, you’ll see more similarities with us.”
Scottie Pippen said last year that he would consider coming out of retirement if the New York Knicks made him an offer for an assistant coaching position, but the Pippen/NBA relationship has not yet been rekindled.
Pippen is right on one front of the Pippen/James comparison, they are physically similar. They are both 6’8″ and play forward. But sadly for Scottie Pippen, NBA history will not remember him as the Chicago Bulls franchise star, at least not without mentioning Michael Jordan.
Even with this debate, Pippen still seems to have maintained a sense of humor as seen in the Foot Locker commercial about short term memories with Charles Barkley where Scottie Pippen says that he is the best Chicago Bull of all time (tongue in cheek of course).
But at the end of the day, most NBA watchers agree that LeBron James is a special talent in his own right. His unique ability to change up his game mid-course will likely put him in the annals of NBA basketball for years to come, ahead of Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, and even maybe Bulls star Michael Jordan.
Do you think Scottie Pippen should be compared to LeBron James?
[Photos courtesy of Huffington Post and NBA Updates]