(CBS) Bulls legend and Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen wants to be in the conversation when observers discuss Cavs star LeBron James.
Following a historic performance from James in the NBA Finals, Pippen recently told the Northeast Ohio Media Group that he was the do-it-all trendsetter on the basketball court that James has become known as.
“I was LeBron James before LeBron James,” Pippen said, according to the website. “It’s not even close.”
Pippen expanded upon his thought, saying he’s “usually left out” of the conversation when observers compare James’ game to those who came before him.
“They want to compare him to the greatest, whether it be Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson, but he’s more closer to myself,” Pippen said. “It’s natural for folks to say that, but if you look at how he plays the game and how I played the game, you’ll see more similarities with us.”
Pippen made seven All-Star teams and was first-team All-NBA three times. James is an 11-time All-Star and is a nine-time member of the All-NBA first team. He’s also won the MVP award four times, tied for fourth-most all time.