A few days ago, Scottie Pippen thrust himself into the public eye as he launched his new Bourbon on the back of a rather interesting interview with GQ. It’s been less than a week, and the only thing that people are not talking about from that launch interview is, well, the Bourbon.
In an interview that saw the six-time champion and Hall of Famer give his candid opinion about today’s players and how they respond in these playoffs, Pip ruffled a few feathers with his comments regarding Kevin Durant’s approach to the closeout games for The Brooklyn Nets. He even threw LeBron James into the mix, saying that KD did not possess the ability to use the collective skill of the team to his advantage, something that we know The King very well for. Pippen also alluded to the fact that Kevin Durant has always had a lot of help and never had to carry and elevate a team as LeBron did.
“This is the first time we have had to see Kevin Durant have to be the man and bring the ram home. We ain’t never really seen that because He had Russel Westbrook, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson.” Scottie Pippen, GQ
Scottie Pippen, GQ
Scottie is not wrong here. After all, nobody wins a championship by himself in the NBA. Normally the best team wins in the league, and sometimes those teams happen to have more of the league’s best players. What caught people's eye was that Pip implied LeBron James is the only player to have won a title without any noticeable help. Stephen A. Smith couldn't let that one slide.
If he intended to make the headlines during the time of his Bourbon launch, Scottie sure was successful. LeBron fans and haters both recognize that not only did Bron have help, but everyone who won did. To say these comments by Pippen were absurd is an understatement as LeBron has played with the likes of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kyrie Irving, and Anthony Davis in his championship runs. Yes, those teams would be terrible without LeBron, and maybe that is what Scottie means to say, but those names sound like very helpful players to have on the basketball court.
Somehow with Scottie, this is always a consistent theme, perhaps coming from a decorated career that he very well knows could have been brighter had he not been under the shadow of Michael Jordan. Pippen does have a point, though, as the Bulls were still an elite team without MJ that had a legitimate shot at winning the championship without him.
That’s the price to pay when you have played with the greatest of all time, and maybe it’s time we give the other Bulls more credit. After all, they may not have won it all, but how else do you explain the fact that they were a great team even without Michael? We understand that the game is built around the collective genius of its winners, but do we acknowledge it enough?
Nevertheless, these comments are now out in the universe and have had no positive effects on today's storylines. As we see today’s greatest player, LeBron James, possibly heading into the twilight years of his career, maybe it’s time that we start appreciating him for what he has brought to the game versus always trying to bring him down. Maybe this is the way forward for the game, where we marvel at stars but acknowledge everyone’s major contributions to success. Like in many industries, maybe the old ways don’t work anymore, and it is time to innovate.
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