LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers is no stranger when it comes to being on the floor during crucial stretches. Being an NBA star, he is expected to live or die with his plays and shots. And as far as Scottie Pippen is concerned, it is something he is not exactly great at.

Pippen believes that LeBron James lacks the clutch gene that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have. He refers to the Lakers star as being nothing more than a peasant, particularly during crunch time in an interview with ESPN’s First Take.

“When I look at LeBron, he’s not what Michael (Jordan) was as a player. He’s not even what Kobe (Bryant) was as a player,” Pippen said in that interview.

Pippen lived to witness these moments, particularly with Jordan when both were still playing for the Chicago Bulls. He has likely seen the game-winning heroics of Kobe as well, a reason why he believes James has yet to hit that key. But all these are from the view of one player only so perhaps it would be best to get the inputs of a Lakers fanatic in actor-rapper Ice Cube.

In an interview with TMZ Sports, Ice Cube did not concur or disagree with Pippen. He seemingly replied in a neutral manner, saying that he does have the clutch gene but not in the class of Jordan or Kobe.

"I think he does have the clutch gene, but not too many people in the world got the Kobe and Jordan gene,” he said.

The debate on how good James is and how he fares with the likes of Jordan and Bryant is nothing news. The comparisons are never-ending although all played in the NBA during different eras. Jordan and Bryant had their share of criticism during their time and managed to handle them well. James is likely doing the same although he does react when needed but in a different kind of way.

Regardless, the fact remains James has won three NBA rings – something that will also inherit criticism since he did it with other bonafide stars by his side. Jordan and Kobe did it with rising stars – yet another point of comparison that exists to this day.

LeBron James For Scottie Pippen, LeBron James lacks the clutch gene to close out NBA games. LeBron James #23 of the LA Lakers and Team LeBron reacts in the first half during the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 17, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Getty Images/Streeter Lecka