Scottie Pippen says early-career Michael Jordan was ‘horrible,’ praises LeBron James
Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen was the second best player on the team during the 1990’s, behind Michael Jordan of course. Jordan, arguably the greatest player of all-time, is often the subject of debate alongside LeBron James. Pippen recently shared an eye-opening take on the Jordan-LeBron debate, via Die-Hard Chicago Bulls Fans on Twitter.
“LeBron James will be the greatest statistical [player] to ever play the game of basketball,” Pippen said. “There’s no comparison to him, none!”
However, Pippen opted not to refer to LeBron as the “greatest” player ever.
“So, does that make him (LeBron) the greatest player to ever play the game? I’ll leave that out for debating. I don’t believe that there’s a great player because our game is a team game and one player can’t do it.”
That led Pippen into offering a controversial take on Michael Jordan’s early career.
“I seen Michael Jordan play before I came to play with the Bulls,” Pippen continued. “You guys seen him play, he was a horrible player. He was horrible to play with, he was all one-on-one, he’s shooting bad shots. All of a sudden, we become a team and we start winning, everybody forgot who he was.”
Scottie Pippen calling Michael Jordan a “horrible player” before the Bulls started winning is surprising. Jordan certainly benefited from having stars like Pippen around him, but this is a player who averaged 28 points per game or more in each season prior to 1998.
The only season before 1998 in which MJ didn’t average more than that mark came in 1985-1986, when he averaged 22.7 points per contest on 45.7 percent field goal shooting. Those numbers aren’t Michael Jordan-like, but they are far from “horrible.”
Pippen’s comments are destined to lead to heated opinions and controversial takes over the next few weeks. The Michael Jordan-LeBron James debate never fails to draw fiery comments.