Scottie Pippen had a head-tilting take on the debate between Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the NBA’s greatest of all time.
Who is the greatest player of all time in the NBA?
That’s a debate that’s simply never going to be settled. One generation would argue Larry Bird or Magic Johnson or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Another would favor Michael Jordan. Yet another would go to bat for Kobe Bryant. And still more would give their nod to LeBron James.
With James apparently pondering his retirement, the GOAT debate has been renewed with the James vs. Jordan question and Scottie Pippen has offered the most unhinged take on it yet.
Scottie Pippen backs LeBron James, calls Michael Jordan “horrible”
“LeBron James will be the greatest statistical guy to ever play the game of basketball and there’s no comparison to him, none,” Pippen said on Stacey King’s Gimme The Hot Sauce Podcast. “Does that make him the greatest player to ever play the game? I’ll leave that out for debating because I don’t believe that there’s a greatest player because our game is a team game and one player can’t do it.”
Of course, after supposedly bowing out of the GOAT debate, Pippen proceeded to trash Jordan’s game and make it very clear which side he favors.
“[Jordan] was a horrible player. He was horrible to play with. He was all one-on-one. He was shooting bad shots,” Pippen said. “All of the sudden we became a team and we start winning, everybody forgot who he was.”
Jordan was a two-time consensus All-American and two-time Player of the Year in college. He hit the winning shot in the 1982 national championship game for North Carolina. And that was before he ever stepped foot on an NBA court.
The Bulls hadn’t been to the playoffs for three seasons before they drafted Jordan, who was the Rookie of the Year in 1984-85, and he took them to the postseason immediately.
And yeah, they didn’t do much there because it is a team game and no player can do it on their own. The arrival of Pippen in 1987 mattered, along with the addition of others who would help shape the Bulls dynasty. Jordan needed a team just like James needed a team to get over the hump and win his championships.
The idea that Jordan was some “horrible” player whose cracks were papered over by his Bulls teams is utter madness though. Pippen is engaging in one of the biggest cases of revisionist history you’ll ever hear in sports.
Jordan doesn’t have to be your GOAT but he most certainly was not a “horrible player.”