Over a decade ago, Michael Jordan’s All-Star teammate Scottie Pippen revealed his choice for the infamous GOAT debate. Despite Jordan being the greatest scorer, LeBron was the greatest player of all time.
Michael Jordan and his teammate Scottie Pippen dominated teams back in their era. The two are considered to be one of the greatest playing duos in the league. Rightfully, behind the two superstars’ leadership, the Chicago Bulls successfully won 2 three-peats in an eight-year span.
While LeBron James, another generational talent, has been able to give Jordan competition for the GOAT title. Playing in his 18th season, James is still managing to put up MVP like numbers despite being 36-years-old.
Over the course of his career, LBJ has put up great numbers in all stats possible. This season too, the 4-time MVP looks to lead his Lakers team to their second consecutive title.
Despite being Jordan’s teammate for nearly 10 NBA seasons, Pippen revealed his surprising take on the Jordan-James GOAT debate. Back in 2011, Scottie made a surprising pick for the GOAT debate. On ESPN’s Mike & Mike show, Pippen stated:
“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game. But I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he is so potent offensively that not only can he score at will, but he keeps everybody involved.”
“LeBron James can do it on the offensive as well as the defensive end”: Scottie Pippen in 2011
One would assume that Pippen had to really think hard before many such a choice. Although, the Hall-Of-Famer revealed that he was pretty comfortable with his pick. He also went on to justify his pick:
“You have to be on your P’s and Q’s on defense. No guy on the basketball court is a threat to score with LeBron James out there. Not only will LeBron dominate from the offensive end as well, but he’s also doing it on the defensive end, which really makes him the complete package.”
“He’s able to get in those passing lanes, shoot those gaps and create transition opportunities where he is pretty much unstoppable.”
Unfortunately, just a few weeks after Pippen made this statement, the then 26-year-old Bron along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, were stunned in the 2011 NBA Finals. The Dirk Nowitzki-led Mavericks team upset the Heat superteam to win their improbable championship.
The never-ending Jordan-James debate will continue having people picking their side. We might never come to any conclusive end to the discussion. We should just be glad that we were able to witness two stunning players. Two icons who revolutionized the game while being incredibly entreating and giving all their energy night in and night out to the game they loved the most.