The debate regarding who is better between Michael Jordan and LeBron James is a difficult one. Each player brings their own unique strengths and weaknesses to the table.
Making things equally difficult is the fact that everyone who generally weighs in on this debate is biased in some capacity.
It was more of the same this week, when Jordan’s old Chicago Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen delved into the conversation.
His comments weren’t particularly surprising, but the tenor and aggressiveness of them definitely was.
“I never said that LeBron was the greatest. That was never said,” Pippen said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000.
“I said by the end of his career, his numbers will be better. And I still stand by that. I think LeBron’s numbers are crazy only because he’s going to get in more years than Michael Jordan.
“Michael probably really only played 11 years in this league, and when you look at a kid like LeBron, who started at 18, 19 years old, he’s probably going to pass Michael by his numbers in his first 10, 11 years in the league.”
Pippen was then asked to pick an ideal running mate between James and Jordan. He didn’t hesitate.
“That’s a dumb— question,” Pippen said. “I’ve never done anything with LeBron. I wouldn’t take LeBron to the movies with me.”
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Pippen’s high praise for Jordan isn’t unexpected, but it is a noticeable departure in tone from the way he was talking about his old teammate after the Last Dance documentary aired. He was not a fan of that special.
Big picture – a lot of athletes have weighed in on the Jordan vs James debate. Floyd Mayweather has done it. Shawn Kemp has done it. Heck, even non-athletes like former President Donald Trump have done it.
LaMelo Ball emerges as an early frontrunner for the 2021-22 NBA MVP Award. https://t.co/sSeA2JNkAf
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 18, 2021
At the end of the day, this conversation will continue until James’ retirement.
Will he ultimately be able to meet or exceed Jordan’s stature in the eyes of those who grew up idolizing the Bulls star? Time will tell.