Stephen A Smith and Max Kellerman talk hypothetical 2-on-2 matchups between Jordan & Pippen vs Kobe & LeBron on First Take.
It has been over 2 weeks since we got a new NBA Champion. Usually, we would be busy discussing trades and free agency plans, but with the transaction moratorium on, there is not much noise there.
Since, LeBron James won his 4th ring, there have been a fair share of GOAT debates. There have been a lot of hypothetical debates and discussions going on as well. A lot of them revolve around how Michael Jordan would have fared in the current day league.
In the recent episode of First Take, Max Kellerman and Stephen A Smith take up such a hypothetical debate and step it up. Instead of your regular MJ vs LeBron matchup, they made it a 2v2. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen vs LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
“MJ and Pippen would dominate”: Stephen A Smith
Max Kellerman was determined that the Lakers duo would fare better, while Smith believed otherwise. He also made points about why Kobe isn’t the best ever.
His reasoning largely revolved around how Kobe shaped his entire game around Michael.
“Kobe Bryant isn’t considered the best ever because obviously MJ and him played the same position and we’ll take MJ first. …One of the biggest reasons that LeBron James is compared to Michael Jordan is because LeBron James came into the NBA giving everybody’s indications he was coming for Jordan.”
“If you look at Kobe’s game, his game mirrored MJ more than LeBron’s ever did, it’s just that LeBron announced to the world he was coming for MJ and that’s why everybody looks for those comparisons.”
To this Kellerman says that the Lakers duo would have been like MJ and a super Pippen(LeBron). They would have beaten anyone. To counter the same, Stephen A Smith brings up how the Bulls duo has the better defense of the two.
Smith: “Neither Kobe nor LeBron played defense better than MJ and Pippen. Neither of them.”
Kellerman: “They would have been slightly lesser defensively and even better offensively, and on the whole, a LeBron-Kobe pairing in their primes would have been even better than MJ and Pippen.”
Stephen A. Smith: ‘Michael Jordan And Scottie Pippen Would’ve Beaten LeBron James And Kobe Bryant If They Would Have Faced Each Other’ https://t.co/kefTuJixUz
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 28, 2020
While all of these are fun to debate hypothetically, unfortunately, these match-ups can’t take place in real life. People seem to side with Kobe and LeBron, but Stephen A Smith is convinced that the Bulls duo would emerge victorious.