You know, I tweeted earlier today that I was going on a brief hiatus from writing this week because I am preparing to move into a new apartment, and these things take a lot out of you. But then I made the reprehensible mistake of listening to ESPN “The Jump” today and I heard the great Scottie Pippen state there is no comparison between Lebron James and Michael Jordan, and that “there is no game that he would ever play in and pick Lebron James over Michael Jordan” if he’s trying to win.
Get ready because this is about to be the sports journalistic version of Drake’s “Back to Back”.
This was so disrespectful and so out of pocket.
Don’t get on my television screen and lie for ratings.
I watch the show every day, and trust me it’s a fantastic show, but Scottie if you believe the words you said, then you are unassailably and certifiably insane.
If your goal was to patronize Detroit pistons great, Isaiah Thomas and refute his comments over some 20-year feud, then get over yourself. But let me tell you something.
Just because you won six championships with a great team doesn’t mean that your opinion should be held over his. I would take Thomas over you ANY DAY. Before I get in my feelings though, allow me to break down a couple of the flippant and irrevocable things that you said today on national television.
1. Comparison should never be made between MJ and LBJ
Really? This is how you feel? Then why do you continue to perpetuate this narrative?! If I’m not mistaken, it was you that stated back in December 2017, that statistically James is a better player than Jordan because he will inevitably eclipse him in scoring, assists, and rebounds. Those words came out of your mouth. Get your story together Scottie. If you don’t want the comparisons to be made, then maybe you should stop talking about it. I’m getting this strange theory that every time James gets some buzz about being the greatest because of a statistical accomplishment, an insecure Jordan gives you a call and says “Hey Scottie, remember those six championships we won? Yeah do me a favor, and shut the “Lebron hype” down on TV today”
2. “Lebron is not going to be the person who wants the ball at the end. Michael wanted it in any situation”
If you don’t take this antiquated, redundant, insufferable argument somewhere else. Whoever argues this does not know basketball very well because last time I checked, it’s a team game. The difference between James and Jordan is that James has the existential awareness to pass the ball to an open shooter who is typically a three-point specialist, whereas Jordan is likely to take the shot guarded or not. This is the epitome of hero ball, and if you’re lucky it works, but please don’t get this confused with the way basketball should be played.
Oh and just for the record. According to NBA.com, in the final five seconds of the fourth quarter, Jordan is 5-of-11 in his career in shots made. James is 6-of-10.
People, people please. I was going to hold my tongue, I promised I was going to try to save this for next week, but I’ve already rolled up my sleeves, turned on Drake, and I’m ready. We have simply got to bury this argument that Jordan is better than James just because. They are at the very least equal, and even the staunchest Jordan defenders need to admit it. Jordan has the greatest narrative. He never faced a team of the caliber that James has, and it is no longer palatable that we denigrate James for his finals record. If you really want to get into records, someone please explain to me why James has never lost in the first round of a playoff series, but Jordan has several times?
84-85 First Round Loss to the Milwaukee Bucks 3-1
85-86 Swept First Round By Boston Celtics
86-87 Swept First Round By Boston Celtics
87-88 Second Round Loss to Detroit Pistons 4-1
88-89 Second Round Loss to Detroit Pistons 4-2
89-90 Eastern Conference Finals Loss to Detroit Pistons 4-3
These numbers corroborate that Jordan has always lost to superior competition. The guy struck gold when Magic Johnson got HIV, Larry Bird got old, and the year they finally got past the Detroit Pistons, Isaiah Thomas had just got back on the court, recovering from a wrist injury that caused him to miss at least three months of the regular season.
I’m done. My anger has subsided, and I know I need to get back to packing. But just know that I can no longer stand by, and watch the close friends of Jordan protect his legacy by castigating King James.
Like Drake said in “back to back”, I don’t want to hear about this ever again.
And please, please think before you come for the great one.
** Follow me on twitter guys. LA Sports Guy @mark_a_gilbert We can chop it up, debate, talk about sports and this thing we call life**