Pippen: LeBron hasn't surpassed Kobe at all
LeBron James has made it clear that one of his primary motivations is "chasing the ghost" of the legendary Michael Jordan.
Scottie Pippen - who won six championships as the Robin to Jordan's Batman with the Chicago Bulls - has the all-time leading scorer in Los Angeles Lakers' history ahead of The King. Then again, he's against comparing James to the likes of Jordan or The Black Mamba in the first place.
"I don't think he's (LeBron) surpassed Kobe (Bryant) at all, no," Pippen told Cari Champion during a Wednesday appearance on ESPN. "And I don't think he (LeBron) should be compared to either of those players (Jordan or Bryant), because they play different positions.
"Kobe and Michael (Jordan) are both two-guards. They're both scorers. They're mostly like a Kyrie (Irving). They're looking to score the basketball when it hits their hand. They're not looking to make plays for anyone on the floor. They're not looking to be a facilitator. That's the role that LeBron plays because he's such a dominant and powerful force, and he's a great passer."
When it comes to comparisons, Pippen feels more comfortable placing James in the same category as another Lakers legend, Magic Johnson, and even himself.
"I think he plays a lot more like Magic. A lot more like myself, how I played," Pippen added. "Obviously he's more dominant than both me and Magic because of the way that he plays the game - his physicality, his athleticism surpass Magic, as well as me."
Does that mean Pippen is more willing to place James ahead of Magic? Well, not so fast.
"I don't want to say he's surpassed Magic. They're both up there," said Pippen. "Magic is truly one of the greatest to ever play the game, and he transcended how a big guard, 6-foot-9, could play all over the floor, and really motivated me that I could play at the top of the floor and run an offense, as well.
"That's what you're seeing in LeBron. He's a guy that runs a team. We never saw Kobe and Michael at the point running a team. They're not comfortable in that position because when they cross halfcourt, they're thinking to score."
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