In an NBA world where everyone compares Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant, who might one compare LeBron James to?
Oscar Robertson? Magic Johnson?
How about Scottie Pippen?
“Definitely Scottie Pippen,” retired NBA player and current ESPN analyst, Ryan Hollins told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“And what’s intriguing with LeBron James is that LeBron is Batman AND Robin. Like, Scottie was Robin. We saw that when he was playing in Portland. But from playing against LeBron James, I’ve seen moments when he was in playmaker mode he didn’t quite – you know before he grew into his own, he kind of questioned taking that last shot and then we saw LeBron James grow into a player that demanded the last shot, that he made sure that he took over.
“Listen, I’m not going to give no spoilers but, I saw that you had Perk on; we had Perk on and Perk was telling a story where pretty much LeBron demands the basketball to end the game out so, LeBron grew into this guy that questioned how to be effective in games; you know, the pressure of being LeBron James and ultimately owing the moment and in my mind, growing to be the greatest basketball player of all time. So, for me that’s the big difference. He was Batman and also he was Robin. He’ll pass to Kyrie for a last second shot or he’ll hit Kyle Korver. Something that Michael Jordan told you himself on the Last Dance…”Who’s taking the last shot? Me!” [laughs]. Nobody else!”
LeBron James is a statistical juggernaut. This season, the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA is averaging 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 10.6 assists per contest for a Lakers squad that sits at 49-14 and in first place in the NBA’s Western Conference standings.
A potential regular season MVP candidate, James, 35, is the marvel of many including former Lakers President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson.
During a recent conversation, I asked Johnson if James reminded him of himself and he gushed at the comparison. “I think we do play similar and we have similar ways in terms of coming down and making our teammates better,” the Naismith Hall of Famer told me back in February.
“We won championships the same way. Our games are much alike, especially now that the ball is in his hands most of the time now as a real, true point guard.
“Now he’s really truly playing the point guard.
“He was point-forward before.”