“I was LeBron James before LeBron James.”
According to Sports Illustrated, Scottie Pippen told the Northeast Ohio Media Group that he was the original “do-it-all player."
“It’s not even close,” said the Basketball Hall of Famer who was an important part of the Chicago Bulls teams that won six NBA titles in the 1990s.
In a 17-year career, the 6-foot-7 multi-faceted forward averaged 16 points, six rebounds and five assists per game. Pippen was named to seven All-Star teams, was a member of the All-NBA first team thrice and was selected for the All-Defensive First Team eight times.
Considered as one of the best players of his generation, Pippen was most known for being Michael Jordan’s “sidekick” on the court who helped developed the “point forward” position.
“I’m no slouch, but when comparing LeBron’s game, I’m usually left out,” the Central Arkansas alum noted.
Pippen said James should not be compared to some of the NBA’s great players and that the Cleveland Cavalier’s skills are closer to his own.
“They want to compare him to the greatest whether it be Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson, but he’s more closer to myself,” he said. “It’s natural for folks to say that, but if you look at how he plays the game and how I played the game, you’ll see more similarities with us.”
For his part, James is a four-time NBA MVP and is an 11-time All-Star. He has been named to the All-NBA First Team nine times and is a five-time All-Defensive First Team member.