Whatcu Talkin’ ‘Bout Pippen!

This afternoon on Tim and Sid: Uncut, one of the topics discussed was in regards to recent comments made on Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio by retired Chicago Bulls player, Scottie Pippen. Call it a MJ complex, an act of treason,  or just plain whack – the NBA world was in an uproar over Pippen’s comments, he completely rocked the boat. I should note that I was a huge Pippen fan growing up. While most kids in my Junior/High school were walking around with MJ jerseys, I was proudly sporting my visiting & home team Scottie Pippens. In my eyes, the boy could straight-out ball. However, I completely disagree with the statement he made this morning comparing MJ and James and it’s only fitting to breakdown what was said, and why it’s inaccurate.

“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play the game.”

This is the one statement I agree with 100%. Now don’t get me wrong – Wilt, Karl, and Kareem could score at will as well, but it’s hard to deny Jordan this title as one of the greatest scorers to ever play the game.
33.4 PPG Career Playoff Aver. (Record)
33.6 PPG Career Finals Aver. (Record)
30.1 PPG Career Regular Aver. (Record)
40.1 PPG 1993 Finals (Record)
Most 50 point playoff games (8)
Most 40 point playoff games (38)
Most 30 PPG or more seasons (12)
866 consecutive games scoring in double figures (Record)

“But I may go as far as to say that Lebron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he’s so potent offensively that not only can he score at will, but he keeps everybody involved and you have to be on your P’s and Q’s on defence because no guy on the court basketball court is not a threat to score when Lebron James is out there.”

One, I thought Jordan could score at will. I’m pretty sure that when you’re one of the best scorers to ever play the game, it also means you can probably score at will. Secondly, did Jordan not keep everybody involved when he was on the court? Didn’t the defense also have to be careful when he drew double teams?

Jordan to Wennington (8:32)

1992 – 93 Chicago Bulls
Team Aver. 105.2 PPG  FG% .482  6th in league for assists

1993 – 94 Chicago Bulls (Retired Jordan)
Team Aver.   98.0 PPG  FG% .476  7th in league for assists

1995 – 96 Chicago Bulls (94-95 Jordan only played 17 games)
Team Aver. 105.2 PPG  FG% .478  5th in league for assists

The numbers themselves show that the team was better as a whole with MJ on the floor.

“But not only that, he’s also doing it on the defensive end.”

I guess that’s true. Jordan doesn’t really have a solid defensive resume – just 9 NBA All-Defensive First Team Selections and named 1987-88 NBA Defensive player of the year in a league where true (F, C) big men have won that title 24 of the last 29 years.

1992 – 93 Opposition
Opp. Aver.    98.9 PPG  FG% .474

1993 – 94 Opposition
Opp. Aver.    94.9 PPG  FG% .463

1995 – 96 Opposition
Opp. Aver.    92.9 PPG  FG% .448

“Lebron makes plays for other guys, but when the game is on the other line and you need a shot to be made, he’s going to make that play.”

I’m not even going to comment on that statement – I’m pretty sure Jordan won the game when it was on the line quite often.

Oh Pippen, you’re still my favourite player to have played the game and I’m just going to blame your comments on the excitement from the Heat’s win last night or Oprah’s Farewell Tour – I’ll call it a slip of the tongue. To be honest with you, your comments sounded like you WERE talking about MJ. Jordan has won 6 title, yes, 6 titles; Lebron hasn’t even won a game yet in the NBA Finals. I do believe that Lebron could one day be the greatest player to have ever played the game, but for now, we need to stop making comparisons and chill on the MJ/Jordan talk; especially the night after a packed United Centre watched their Bulls lose to the Miami Heat. Between your comments on Boozer and James in the last couple of weeks, I’d avoid the streets of Chicago for the next little while. Let’s revisit this in 10 years?

* Tim and Sid: Uncut review will be up later this evening or first thing tomorrow.

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