Scottie Pippen crowns Michael Jordan
LISLE, Ill. -- Scottie Pippen said Friday he believes Michael Jordan is the greatest player in NBA history, despite remarks he made last month regarding Miami Heat forward LeBron James on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike In The Morning."
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"The comments that I made were basically giving LeBron some props as a player, not to dismantle any player like Michael," Pippen said after a youth camp session at the Bulls/Sox academy. "We all know that he's the greatest player that ever played the game.
"I think it was taken a little bit out of context. I felt like I was drawing more of a conclusion from the statistics more than the accolades."
Pippen made the comments as the Heat eliminated the Chicago Bulls from the Eastern Conference finals.
"Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game," Pippen said last month. "But I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he is so potent offensively that not only can he score at will but he keeps everybody involved.
"You have to be on your P's and Q's on defense. No guy on the basketball court is a threat to score with LeBron James out there. Not only will LeBron dominate from the offensive end as well, but he's also doing it on the defensive end, which really makes him the complete package. He's able to get in those passing lanes, shoot those gaps and create transition opportunities where he is pretty much unstoppable."
Pippen said he's spoken to Jordan multiple times since he made the comments and there is no rift between the former teammates.
"I talk to Michael all the time," Pippen said. "There was no problem between me and Michael. I think [the media] chewed into it a little too much."
Pippen didn't appear to be very bothered by the backlash caused by his remarks.
"Ya know what? I kind of rolled off into the sunset, went down south and enjoyed no media, no TV and just enjoyed life," he said. "So I didn't really get a lot [of flak] from [the comments] as much as probably the organization had to deal with it. But I'm ready to move on from it."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.