If you were to choose who’s better between Michael Jordan and LeBron James, based on their player accolades alone, who would you pick? The answer is pretty obvious. Jordan has six rings to James’ three and let’s not start talking about the MVP awards and the manner of how Jordan won those championships without having to go into a single Game 7.
But NBA Hall of famer Scottie Pippen, the very same guy who helped Jordan win the historic double three-peat in the ‘90s for the Chicago Bulls had a different take on this. In an interview with ESPN, Pippen compared the statistics of both players and surprisingly picked James over Jordan.
“The numbers don’t lie. He’s right there. He probably wouldn’t catch him in terms of MVP. But in terms of statistics, LeBron is right there,” he said adding “And when you look across the board—not just scoring—check his assists, check his rebounds, he’s probably ahead of Jordan.”
Damn, Scottie. You just gave Stephen A. Smith another excuse to drop his favorite “blasphemous” line.
The truth is—depending on how you see things—what Pippen said wasn’t really an exaggerated claim. Case in point: James recently passed Jordan as the all-time playoffs scoring leader in the NBA.
Just to give a solid comparison, here’s their average stats per game for 15 seasons:
Jordan – 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.8 blocks
James – 27.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.8 blocks
At the end of the day, Pippen made it clear that Jordan is still the best player in his books. He just has an objective way of seeing things and appreciates how James plays in today’s game. “I would never diss Michael Jordan. I will always pick him over LeBron,” he said.