Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen said Thursday that Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is “probably ahead” of longtime Bulls teammate Michael Jordan from a statistical standpoint.
Andrew Joseph of USA Today passed along comments Pippen made about the James vs. Jordan debate during an appearance on ESPN’s First Take.
“The numbers don’t lie. He’s right there,” he said. “He probably will never catch him in terms of MVP, but in terms of statistics, LeBron is right there. And when you look across the board—not just scoring—check his assists, check his rebounds … he’s probably ahead of Jordan.”
Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.8 blocks across 15 seasons in the NBA (13 with the Bulls and two with the Washington Wizards). James currently checks in at 27.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.8 blocks per game as he takes part in his 15th campaign at the professional level.
Pretty strong words for Scottie Pippen who witnessed the greatness of Michael Jordan in person. Of course, we have to remember that they played in two completely different eras. Jordan played in an era filled with isolation and dominating big men. LeBron doesn’t play with the physicality of the 1980’s and 1990’s but is dealing with more sophisticated defenses and arguably in an era with more skilled and talented players/teams.
Something to also note is that Scottie Pippen addressed a few months ago that he doesn’t think LeBron has yet to surpass Kobe Bryant, so it is pretty interesting for him to say that statistically, LeBron is ahead of Jordan. Let’s not forget that the current NBA plays at a faster pace which means more possessions per game.