Scottie Pippen says LeBron James is the greatest statistical player to ever play, while Michael Jordan was ‘horrible’

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read

Scottie Pippen praised LeBron James as the greatest statistical player ever while also taking a shot at Michael Jordan’s early days in a short video clip that surfaced Friday.

Pippen did not venture into a debate on whether the Los Angeles Lakers superstar or the Chicago Bulls legend is the greatest player of all time, but he made it clear he didn’t think much of Jordan when he first joined up with him.

In a highlight from an interview on Stacey King’s podcast, Pippen said there is no comparison to James statistically, and he’s probably right. James, who just completed his 20th season, is first in NBA history in points and fourth in assists.

By way of comparison, Jordan is fifth in points and 51st in assists. In his 15 seasons, he won six NBA championships and was regular-season MVP five times. James has won four NBA titles and has been MVP four times.

Pippen seems to think Jordan would have been a lot better if he wasn’t such a selfish player at the start of his career. Pippen said when he got to the Bulls in 1987, Jordan’s fourth season, his high-profile teammate was horrible to play with because he would play a one-on-one game and take bad shots. It wasn’t until the Bulls started winning that Jordan became the player everyone praises today.

This season, James failed in his quest for a fifth NBA championship when the Lakers were swept out of the Western Conference Finals by the Denver Nuggets. The 38-year-old hinted at retirement afterward, but it is thought he will come back to play another season.

James has said he wants to play in the NBA at the same time as his son Bronny, who recently declared he would play college basketball next season at the University of Southern California. That means the elder James would have to play at least two more seasons to make that a reality.

If he does so, he will just add to the already significant statistical imprint he has put on the NBA.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.