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CHICAGO (CBS) Last week, Scottie Pippen voiced his opinion about who was the best player and who was the best scorer ever. His opinion caused a bit of controversy.
On ESPN Radio, Pippen said that Michael Jordan was the greatest scorer the NBA has ever seen, but LeBron James could be the greatest all player of all-time. Pippen was met with plenty of backlash here in Chicago, and around the country, as fans and members of the media rushed to return that title to Jordan.
On Tuesday, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, voiced his opinion on the matter. On his website, Kareem said that he has “nothing but respect” for Pippen as his “friend as an athlete and knowledgeable basketball mind.” But when on to say that Pippen was “way off” in his assessment of the league’s greatest scorer and greatest player ever.
“Your comments are off because of your limited perspective,” Kareem said to Pippen in an open letter on his website. “You obviously never saw Wilt Chamberlain play who undoubtedly was the greatest scorer this game has ever known. When did MJ ever average 50.4 points per game plus 25.7 rebounds? (Wilt in the 1962 season when blocked shot statistics were not kept).”
And in Kareem’s mind, Jordan isn’t even the greatest player of all time. While he admits that Jordan’s “incredible athletic ability, charisma and leadership on the court helped to make basketball popular around the world…” Bill Russell is the game’s greatest player.
Kareem justifies his choice by saying that “the ring is the thing, and everything else is just statistics.” And Russell’s eight consecutive championships, and 11 total put him ahead of Jordan.