The further we get away from Michael Jordan’s prime years, the easier it is to say he might not be the GOAT anymore. Scottie Pippen made an appearance on ESPN’s First Take yesterday. Steven A Smith wasted no time asking Pippen to weigh in on the long-lasting Michel Jordan vs LeBron James debate. “Well I’m going to go with Michael Jordan, but statistically, LeBron James is a better basketball player,” Pippen said.
Numbers don’t lie: Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 steals during his 15 NBA seasons. Of course, he was also six for six in NBA Finals and was named Finals MVP every time.
LeBron, currently in his 15th season at age 33, is having one of the best statistical seasons of his career, averaging 28.2 points, 9 assists, and 8.2 rebounds. For his career, he’s averaging 27.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 1.6 steals.
Pippen’s assessment isn’t so wrong. Statistically speaking, LeBron is the more efficient scorer, superior rebounder, and better passer. LeBron may never catch Jordan with six championships, but his legacy is far from being set in stone.