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Steve Kerr: LeBron’s game closer to Pippen than to Jordan

Jun 14, 2011, 12:21 PM EDT

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Another former Chicago Bull has just weighed in on LeBron James and whether he’s the next Michael Jordan. Steve Kerr, who played alongside both Jordan and Scottie Pippen and earned five NBA Championship rings (one with the Spurs), says that Pippen’s recent comparison between Jordan and LeBron is wrong. Pippen said last week that LeBron may surpass Jordan as the greatest player ever. Kerr:

“The irony to me is that LeBron is not Michael. LeBron is actually Scottie,” he said. “He’s so similar to Scottie in that defensively he was just a monster, could guard anybody, really more of a point forward than scoring guard. Scottie always loved to distribute the ball. That’s really where LeBron’s preference is.”

Kerr also talked about how Phil Jackson used to call Pippen “a sometimes shooter” and said that you can see James’ “flaws as a basketball player.”

“He doesn’t have an offensive game that he can rely on: no low-post game, no mid-range jump shot so when the game really gets tough he has a hard time finding easy baskets and getting himself going,” Kerr continued. “That’s what Michael did in his sleep so that’s why the comparison is wrong.”

First, this conversation is missing three key elements. If I’m picking an all-time NBA team, I go with Kareem, Wilt and Bill Russell before I go with either Jordan or LeBron. Before I chose LeBron, I’d also pick Shaquille O’Neal. And then there’s Oscar Robertson and a few others. Heck, I’d pick Rick Barry over LeBron. Kerr is correct: When it comes to being the best of all time, LeBron gets an incomplete. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

And you know, that raging competitive fire that lived in Jordan and Kareem and Magic doesn’t reside in everyone. In the family of superstars, LeBron is the son who likes to stay at home with mom and bake zucchini bread. And that’s OK too.

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Steve Kerr: LeBron Similar To Scottie Pippen, Not Michael Jordan [Huffington Post]