May 27, 2011 18:00:23 GMT
Realizing that his name was a trending topic on Twitter for a reason, Pippen clarified his statement by saying that Jordan was and is still the greatest.
Scottie Pippen has chosen his side on who the best basketball player of all time is. The Hall of Famer created frenzy on Twitter when he said in an interview that Michael Jordan may be the greatest scorer to play the game but LeBron James could be "the greatest player to ever play the game".
Talking to ESPN Radio's morning show, Pippen said, "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."
Pippen recently watched James' Heat beating the Bulls 83-80 from the front row seat. "You have to be on your Ps and Qs on defense. No guy on the basketball court is not a threat to score with LeBron James out there," Pippen gushed. "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's statement has sparked criticism and outrage mainly from Jordan's fans. Former basketball player Bill Walton tweeted, "Those comments are as insulting as Pippen's moody disposition." Someone else tweeted, "I think Scottie Pippen was a great player and essential to those bulls teams. His statement was garbage though."
In his own tweet, Pippen clarified his statement, writing "Don't get me wrong, MJ was and is the greatest. But LeBron could by all means get to his level someday." He added later, "Every NBA generation has a new set of stars and LeBron is there as the best all around player in the game."