Steve Kerr: LeBron has work to do

Updated: June 13, 2011, 3:02 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Scottie Pippen had it all wrong when he recently compared LeBron James with Michael Jordan, said one former Chicago Bulls teammate.

"The irony to me is that LeBron is not Michael. LeBron is actually Scottie," former Bull and current television analyst Steve Kerr said Monday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "He's so similar to Scottie in that defensively he was just a monster, could guard anybody, really more of a point forward than scoring guard. Scottie always loved to distribute the ball. That's really where LeBron's preference is.

"Phil Jackson used to call Scottie a 'sometimes shooter.' Sometimes they would go in, sometimes they wouldn't. That's how it is with LeBron. He's a great talent and a great player but you can see his flaws as a basketball player. He doesn't have an offensive game that he can rely on: no low-post game, no mid-range jump shot so when the game really gets tough he has a hard time finding easy baskets and getting himself going. That's what Michael did in his sleep so that's why the comparison is wrong."

After James' Heat beat the Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals, Pippen told ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" that while he believes Jordan is the greatest scorer in NBA history, James "may be the greatest player to ever play the game."

After thriving against the Bulls, James struggled -- especially in the fourth quarter -- in the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, who won three straight games against the Heat to win the title on Sunday.

James averaged 26.7 points per game in the regular season, but just 17.8 in the Finals, the largest discrepancy in history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

And after starring in the closing role against the Bulls, James scored just 18 points combined in the fourth quarter during the Finals, fueling talk about whether he can really be considered a player on the level of Jordan.

"Michael had three years at North Carolina with Dean Smith. That makes a big difference," Kerr said. "I think he was brought up at a time when there was probably better development at a young age in terms of coaching. I think LeBron is a product of the AAU system where you rely on your athleticism, you go and play 100 games a year but maybe you don't focus on your weaknesses and what you need to lock in on.

"As a result, fundamentally and technically LeBron has some flaws. He has to address those. If I were him I would spend all summer down on the low block shooting jump hooks and turnaround jump shots -- the entire summer."

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