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#pounditSunday, November 28, 2021

Scottie Pippen: ‘I was LeBron James before LeBron James’

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Scottie Pippen’s all-around game made him one of the greatest players in NBA history. He could could score from inside and outside, distribute, rebound, and had the ability to take render the opposing team’s best perimeter player useless. Pippen was a no doubt inclusion into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and deservedly so.

Pippen’s versatility became his calling card, in a similar way to how LeBron James is viewed. There’s nothing James can’t do on the basketball court. He can put his stamp on a game in numerous ways with a vast skillset, much like the former Bulls great.

When comparisons are made of James to greats from years past, names like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan generally come up. However, Pippen said he was doing in his prime what James is doing now.

“I was LeBron James before LeBron James,” Bulls great Scottie Pippen told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “It’s not even close.”

“I’m no slouch, but when comparing LeBron’s game, I’m usually left out,” he said.

Being “left out” is a recurring theme with how Scottie Pippen is remembered (or not remembered) in NBA history. Pippen won six NBA championships, all of them playing alongside Michael Jordan. Jordan was the star, and understandably so, and Pippen was seen as the sidekick.

Pippen’s greatness wasn’t lost on James, who has tried to adopt parts of Pippen’s game into his own. And it’s evident Pippen feels his game closely resembles that of James, even if many others don’t feel that way, or want to acknowledge it.

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