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LeBron James.

Scottie Pippen claims LeBron James is "probably ahead" of Michael Jordan

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LeBron James is playing arguably the best basketball of his career and is putting up astonishing numbers this season to back it up.

In his 15th season in the NBA, the King is somehow getting better and is playing at a ridiculously high level. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar is averaging career-highs across the board this year with 28.9 points, 9.1 assists, and 8.3 rebounds.

He is once again a leading candidate for the MVP award even at this early stage of the campaign with his outstanding performances. 

With LeBron playing the way he is, it has inevitably sparked the never-ending debate of how he compares to the game's greatest ever player, Michael Jordan. 

The most recent person to weigh in on this topic was Jordan's former Chicago Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen. 

Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers

The Hall of Famer made an appearance on ESPN's First Take on Thursday and was asked for his opinion on where James ranks in comparison to Jordan. 

It prompted Pippen to make a controversial proclamation as he said the Cavs small forward has passed MJ - at least statistically.

“The numbers don’t lie. He’s right there. He probably will never catch him in terms of MVP, but in terms of statistics, LeBron is right there," Pippen said. "And when you look across the board — not just scoring — check his assists, check his rebounds … he’s probably ahead of Jordan.”

His answer completely shocked Stephen A. Smith who couldn't believe what he just heard from the former champion. 

Pippen appears to have changed his tune in a matter of months as he stated in May that LBJ wasn't as good as Kobe Bryant and shouldn't be compared to him or Jordan. 

“I don’t think he’s surpassed Kobe at all, no," he said on ESPN's Sportscenter. "And I don’t think he should be compared to either of those players (Jordan and Kobe) because they’re playing different positions. Kobe and Michael are both two guards. They’re both scorers. They’re mostly like a Kyrie (Irving) — they’re looking to score the basketball.”

Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers

Clearly, the ex-Bulls star must be so impressed with the way James is playing this year that he's elevated him in his pecking order of greats. 

This debate continues to rumble on between fans, analysts and former players and will do so until LBJ calls time on his career and we're able to stack up his achievements alongside the GOAT's.

But for now, the King remains the best player on the planet and offers us a reminder of his greatness on a nightly basis.

Topics:
NBA
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Scottie Pippen
Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan

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