Scottie Pippen, a former teammate of NBA legend Michael Jordan has made an outrageous claim that LeBron James is the greatest NBA player ever, even better than Jordan.
Pippen, who watched James help Miami Heats whip past the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs on Friday, suggested that though Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game, James could overshadow his greatness.
LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he is so potent offensively that not only can he score at will but he keeps everybody involved, the Pippen said.
Pippen gives his reasons - You have to be on your P's and Q's on defense. No guy on the basketball court is a threat to score with LeBron James out there. Not only will LeBron dominate from the offensive end as well, but he's also doing it on the defensive end, which really makes him the complete package. He's able to get in those passing lanes, shoot those gaps and create transition opportunities where he is pretty much unstoppable.
However, those who have watched Jordan closely have rubbished Pippen's claim.
Pip is my man, and we will always be close but I totally disagree, Horace Grant, a close friend of Pippen's who won three titles with Jordan's Chicago Bulls said.
LeBron is going to be one of the top players to ever play the game. But Michael Jeffrey Jordan, who we bumped heads with at times, is I think in my era, the best who ever played the game, Grant said, Friday, on The Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000.
Grant said Jordan was not only a legend himself but also was a team player who made others better.
I'm kind of at a loss for words because Michael Jordan ... when you win numerous MVPs and you've taken the team to six championships - and probably could have been eight if he didn't retire those two years - and MVPs in the playoffs ... and he made us better.
Believe me, he made myself, Scottie, B.J. [Armstrong], even Bill Cartwright who I love, he made us better players. He gave us that confidence. But first we had to earn his trust. And once we earned his trust you saw championship after championship, Grant said.
Meanwhile, Pippen has realized the enormity of what he said and not surprisingly attempted to retract his statement by tweeting that Jordan is still the greatest.
Don't get me wrong, MJ was and is the greatest. But LeBron could by all means get to his level someday, he said.
However, the damage has been done. Swords have been drawn. Comparisons will be made. Who do you think is the greatest player in NBA's history? Can James ever come close to Jordan's greatness? Leave your comments below.
Meanwhile, relive the moments of greatness of James and Jordan in the photos below.