After the Miami Heat knocked off the Chicago Bulls last night (who had the coach of the year in Tom Thibodeau and the league MVP in Derek Rose), Scottie Pippen made the "loud" declaration that he believes Lebron James "may be the greatest player to ever play the game". This from the guy who got six championship rings from Jordan.
Number of championships aside, there is only one factor that I need in order to think this statement is complete crap: Jordan made his teammates better. It's that simple. Pippen is an amazing player but who else did they have? Luc Longley. Toni Kukoc. Horace Grant. BJ Armstrong. These were all championship caliber players while with Jordan and nothing afterwards. Who did James bring up? Nobody. He had some good talent in Cleveland but he was not able to bring anybody up to his level in order to win. He's too egotistical to do that. So what does he do instead? He brings his friends to one team to build an "all-star" roster to win. Dwayne Wade is amazing. Chris Bosh is great. He doesn't have to help them, he can just ride coattails to the end. Jordan never had to get Barkley to join him. He never needed John Stockton to come help him run point. David Robinson was never invited to come to Chicago and win. Jordan made sure everyone he had was all he needed by making them better players with him. Lebron didn't want that so he just brought his own Dream Team together and it's a shame that will downplay his talents for years. Hell, even Kobe did it and we all know how I feel about him
The Finals are set to start Tuesday and it's Dallas against Miami. Sadly, this will be the only time that I ever root for Dallas to win.