Scottie Pippen to LeBron James « if you are the greatest player, why do you need to say it »

Scottie Pippen

LeBron James has built up quite an impressive resume over the years in what has been an absolutely incredible career.


He is very much a part of the GOAT debate but unlike those before him, LeBron has openly stated that he considers himself to be the greatest ever, and Scottie Pippen didn’t like that.

« If you are the greatest player, » Pippen said on The Jump in 2019. « If people are saying you are the greatest player or if people are saying Michael Jordan is the greatest player, why do you need to say it? Michael Jordan has never ever said he’s the greatest player to ever play the game. Why? He has respected all the other players before him, so for LeBron to say that, he’s sort of pulling himself out of it, because you can’t say you are the greatest player, you have to allow your peers in the world to say that. »

(starts at 2:35 mark):

That is perhaps a fair point, that you aren’t the one who gets to declare that you’re the best. It’s your peers who should anoint you as that, but LeBron clearly doesn’t believe that to be the case. Pippen here was reacting to James saying in 2018 that winning the title in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers made him the GOAT.

« That moment right there made me the greatest player of all time, that’s what I felt. » James said about his 2016 triumph. « I was super, super ecstatic to win one for Cleveland because of the 52-year drought. The first wave of emotion, everyone saw me crying. That was all for 52 years of everything in sports going on in Cleveland. And then after I stopped, I was like, ‘That one right there made you the greatest player of all time.' »

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