Muller: Still Think LeBron Is Better Than MJ, Scottie?

By Shawn Muller–

CHICAGO (CBS) When the Chicago Bulls finally decided to honor Scottie Pippen with a statue inside the United Center, I was one of the first people to say that it was long past due.

Scottie was easily one of…no wait…scratch that…he was the second greatest player to ever suit up in a Chicago Bulls uniform.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

But, for all that he did to help the Chicago Bulls become one of the most dominant dynasties the National Basketball Association has ever seen during the franchise’s blistering run to six world championships during the 1990’s, his comments last month regarding LeBron James and his apparent equality—and potential superiority—to Michael Jordan are now looking ever more dumbfounded and erroneous: Especially after the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat Sudnay night in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to clinch the Larry O’Brien Trophy, making LeBron James now “0-fer” in two tries for a league championship.

If you don’t recall the firestorm that Scottie Pippen created around the league—and especially here in Chicago–let me refresh your memory.

The Hall of Famer said, “Michael Jordan is the greatest scorer to ever play the game. 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.”

Really, Scottie? That is–and was–your argument?

I know you tried to back pedal afterwards by saying, “Don’t get me wrong, MJ was and is the greatest. But LeBron could by all means get to his level someday.” But even that is absurd.

LeBron James is a great basketball player…no doubt about it. But he is just a great INDIVIDUAL player. Michael, on the other hand, was great individual player who turned into a great TEAM player. MJ made EVERYONE around him better…including you, Scottie.

When Michael finally had the pieces around him to make a run at championships, he delivered. Jordan and the Chicago Bulls saw their share of playoff disappointment during his time with the franchise, but…once he had the pieces in place surrounding him to make a run–or six–to the NBA Finals, he never lost.

And, more importantly, he never faltered under the pressure.

LeBron James, on the other hand, has yet to do so.

I am still a firm believer that he was close to winning a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and I still believe that Cleveland would have done everything in their power to bring in as much help for James as needed…but he didn’t want to give it the time. James wanted instant satisfaction; hence his leaving a city that adored him, in favor of playing with other stars somewhere else.

So now, even if James does win multiple championships with the Miami Heat, his legacy will forever be tarnished in the eyes of many because he didn’t want to wait it out in Cleveland.

MJ didn’t need to relocate in hopes of winning championships.

He stayed with the Chicago Bulls through thick and thin. Could he have left for seemingly greener pastures? Absolutely. But “His Airness” didn’t because he wanted to create his own legacy. And create his own legacy he did.

Will LeBron James win an NBA Title during his time in the league? He’d better…especially with the talent surrounding him down in Miami.

But as it stands right now, Michael Jordan was 6-for-6 in his quest for winning titles. LeBron James is 0-for-2.

There are many things Michael Jordan could do athletically that LeBron James has the ability to do on the basketball court, but the one thing that separates MJ from the rest was his refusal to lose.

Jordan shined in the bright lights and big stage. He wanted the ball in his hands in crunch time. And, as sure as the Sun rising in the East every morning, Michael Jordan delivered.

LeBron fades away during crunch time like the Sun setting in the West. He plays big during the regular season, and at times during the playoffs.

But when titles are on the line…James is nowhere to be found.

And that is why he is not at the level of Michael Jordan now…and probably never will be.

Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.

shawn muller 2 9 Muller: Still Think LeBron Is Better Than MJ, Scottie?

Shawn Muller

Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at Read more of his blogs here.

  • mike in davenport

    He sure as shi&t showed up at crunch time against the Bulls. Just sayin’.

    • Shawn Muller

      And just like the Bulls, LeBron too is without a ring.

    • Spoon

      How is that even relevant to the topic?

  • CW

    He still doesn’t have a ring after 2 times out….
    Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that ring……
    just sayin’

  • CW

    Also, MJ started doing it without having supposedly 2 of the top 10 players around him! JUST SAYIN’!

  • LT

    Agree he’s not at level of Jordan right now. Not sure about the future in terms of championships. That will have to be seen. For me, one thing is for sure though. Everything Lebron does, i’ve seen before. That was not the case with Jordan, and there has been no other like him before or since.

  • Shawn Muller

    Well said LT.

  • Rick Williams

    So you figured out Pippen is an idiot? Knew that whether L.J. won or not. M.J. did not win until he was 27. Regardless of titles the difference between the 2 players is that M.J. is probably in the top 10 shooters of all time where Lebron is average. The defensive rules have changed as well because I’m not sure anyone could guard Lebron one on one either so the fact that he has to pass away the ball more often than Jordan did makes him look bad. Time will tell but it certainly appears that Lebron should barely be in the conversation.

  • Glenn Petralia

    When MJ played defense was ALLOWED hands checks made it that much HARDER for MJ lbj cant hold a candle even with softer defense JUST SAYIN!

  • Don Stimac

    Yeah, little off base there Rick. The reason MJ is the greatest is exactly what’s already been said. Forget Lebron, he’s not even sniffing Kobe Bryant status. And the reason Kobe is a step below MJ is that his first couple rings came when he was playing as Shaq’s sidekick. So we’re all just gonna have to keep waiting for “the next MJ” because none of the guys drawing comparisons now are ever gonna get there. Maybe there’s a young kid somewhere who does it, and does it the right way, but here and now there are none deserving of such lofty praise.

  • No Tippin'

    I’ll quote another L.J. by saying “Scottie Pippen is a bum”.

    I think $hitting on the teammate that played a huge roll in giving you six rings around your fingers deserves that distinction.

  • SilentBob420BMFJ

    Why did Pippen say that?! So stupid. All he had to say was “Lebron could one day be the second greatest player to ever play the game.” So he’d be saying that currently Lebron isn’t the 2nd best ever, but he could be one day. He could have just said that.

    I hate Lebron, but I think we have to wait until he’s 30 to be able to say that Lebron isn’t even a top 5 ever.

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