Just a misunderstanding, Michael. Didn’t mean a word of it.
That was the message from Scottie Pippen to his old Chicago Bulls teammate, Michael Jordan, regarding Pippen’s comments last month that seemed to give LeBron James(notes) the edge in the “greatest player ever” debate.
Friday, Pippen backed off.
“The comments that I made were basically giving LeBron some props as a player, not to dismantle any player like Michael,” Pippen told ESPN Radio. “We all know that he’s the greatest player that ever played the game.
“I think it was taken a little bit out of context. I felt like I was drawing more of a conclusion from the statistics more than the accolades.”
Pippen’s quote last month:
“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game. But I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he is so potent offensively that not only can he score at will but he keeps everybody involved.
“You have to be on your P’s and Q’s on defense. No guy on the basketball court is a threat to score with LeBron James out there. Not only will LeBron dominate from the offensive end as well, but he’s also doing it on the defensive end, which really makes him the complete package. He’s able to get in those passing lanes, shoot those gaps and create transition opportunities where he is pretty much unstoppable.”
Pippen said he has talked with Jordan several times since then and doesn’t think there’s a rift between the two.