Scottie Pippen is known as the best sidekick in NBA history. The proverbial Robin to Michael Jordan’s Batman, Pippen won six championships with the Chicago Bulls en route to a Hall of Fame career and his standing as an all-time great in NBA history.
Last week Pippen appeared on First Take and damn near gave Stephen A. Smith a heart attack when he said he felt, when taking into account all his statistical measurements, LeBron James had probably passed Michael Jordan on the all-time list. On Wednesday, Pippen told TMZ that he is better than LeBron James, citing his six rings.
Those two statements got a lot of people’s brains working overtime, trying to piece together those two quotes. If Scottie is saying he’s better than LeBron and that LeBron is ahead of Jordan, then that would seem to mean he’s saying he is better than Michael Jordan.
It’s understandable why people are making these connections. Pippen did say both of these things and in neither case were his comments pulled drastically out of context. So, we decided to do a little investigative work into other things Pippen has said to find out if he really thinks that, or if he really just enjoys trolling Stephen A. Smith and others.
Pippen cleared things up a bit by talking further with Stephen A. after their initial segment by saying he would take Jordan over LeBron while still standing by his point that, statistically, LeBron is better.
In this, Stephen A. tees Pippen up to talk about how similar he and LeBron are, with the difference being LeBron is the leader of the team and the top guy, while Pippen played with Jordan. Pippen notes how great he was in the two seasons without Jordan from an individual basis to back up his point.
Taking away the Pippen-LeBron comparisons and the always insufferable conversation about the modern NBA being soft, Pippen notes that he was playing with a better offensive player in Jordan, and thus deferred. That, in and of itself, would seem to indicate that, no, he does not think of himself as better than Michael Jordan. That said, he does seem to still have a bit of a complex when it comes to how people remember him.
Pippen was great and an MVP candidate when he was leading the Bulls during Jordan’s baseball career. However, he’s always seen as a great No. 2 option and likes to compare himself to LeBron, noting that if he was given the opportunity for his entire career, he could’ve done similar things.
So, in that sense, Pippen does think of himself as someone on that similar tier to Jordan, but he would still probably tell you Michael was better, even if he thinks its a closer comparison than most would.