Scottie Pippen raised a few eyebrows with his ridiculous comments made Friday when he insisted that Lebron James is a greater basketball player than Michael Jordan. I’m sure all of you have heard the quote by now. While this debate was bound to come up sooner or later, it was the source from which this comment came from that drew such fierce responses. The stints in Houston and Portland late is his career clearly must have clouded Pippen’s memory of Jordan. To his credit, Pippen did backtrack a little from his original statement: “Don’t get me wrong, MJ was and is the greatest. But LeBron could by all means get to his level someday.” However, his original comment did not seem like he was projecting into the future with the Lebron vs MJ debate. It definitely sounded like he was making the comparison of today’s Lebron James vs Jordan.
Sure, Lebron James could some day surpass Jordan’s legacy. The man is a 6’8″ 250-something pound freak of nature and still has room for improvement, which is down right scary. But Lebron is not at Jordan’s level yet…not yet, no way, no how. There isn’t anyone who could argue this, well except for Jordan’s former teammate I guess. Ridiculous!
There have been a number of ridiculous (and some funny) statements made by NBA players. My memory isn’t one of my stronger traits, but I do have a few that have stuck in my head for some reason:
“We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.” – Anybody remember the mathematical genius who said this after being selected with the 2nd overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft? I’ll give you a hint: He’s playing in this years NBA finals. That would be Jason Kidd. At the time Kidd was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, they were at the bottom of the NBA totem pole. I’m quite sure Kidd wasn’t saying ‘I know this team sucks, and now that I’m drafted we’ll be good and then we’ll suck again’. I’m pretty sure he meant to say 180 degrees. Or, maybe he did mean 360 degrees and that was the real reason Dallas traded him.
“This is it. It’s for all the marbles. I’m sitting in the house loading up the pump, I’m loading up the Uzis, I’ve got a couple of M-16s, couple of nines, couple of joints with some silencers on them, couple of grenades, got a missile launcher. I’m ready for war.” – This famous quote comes courtesy of our favorite NBA soldier Kevin Garnett. No comment.
“Sure, we make a lot of money, but we spend a lot, too.” – This statement was made by Patrick Ewing during the 1998-99 NBA lockout. He was just reminding all of us how hard NBA players had it back then. I’m pretty sure he made the statement out of concern because he was losing valuable paychecks during the lockout. I mean how else was he supposed to get money for his weekly visits at the Gold Club?
Fortunately, Patrick Ewing made more money over his career than Latrell Sprewell did who was offered ‘only’ a $21 million contract extension by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2004. It was substantially less than what he wanted and claimed to feel insulted by the offer. He then publicly expressed outrage telling one reporter: “Why would I want to help them win a title? They’re not doing anything for me. I’ve got a lot at risk here. I’ve got my family to feed.” Stay classy Spree.
Then there’s Tim Hardaway. When asked by Miami sportswriter Dan Le Batard about the subject of having a gay player on his team, Hardaway responded, “First of all I wouldn’t want him on my team. Second of all, if he was on my team I would really distance myself from him because I don’t think that’s right and I don’t think he should be in the locker room when we’re in the locker room.”…..”Well, you know, I hate gay people,” Hardaway said in response to Le Batard. “I let it be known I don’t like gay people. I don’t like to be around gay people. I’m homophobic. It shouldn’t be in the world, in the United States, I don’t like it.” I will admit that I was hoping for just a little more honesty from Timmy with his response. If only he would have told us how he really felt at the time. Oh well.
But Scottie took the cake with his comment Friday:
“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play the game. I may go so far as saying LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game.” As I mentioned earlier, Scottie Pippen did backtrack a bit from this statement. But of all people, Scottie Pippen should know better than to make this statement now. At least wait until the Heat win their first championship.
Come on Scottie, you’re better than that: