Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has secured his seventh straight trip to the NBA Finals after dispatching of the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
James has been in the league for 14 years now, and has received every accolade there is to win in his NBA career. As such it is natural for people to begin talking about his legacy and where he ranks among the all-time greats.
With three NBA Championships under his belt, some believe that James is one of the best players of all-time, possibly even the very best or second behind Michael Jordan.
One NBA legend who isn’t yet willing to go that far is Scottie Pippen, who recently said that James has not yet surpassed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, via Chris Walder of The Score:
“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.”
Pippen went on to compare James to players like Magic Johnson and himself, as they were more of distributors than pure scorers like Bryant and Michael Jordan. At just 32-years-old, James’ legacy is not yet set in stone though, as he will have an opportunity to add to those three championship rings by taking down the Golden state Warriors for the second straight year.
Regardless of what happens in this year’s NBA Finals and in the coming years, James has already put himself into the conversation with the NBA’s all-time greats like Jordan and Bryant.