Steve Kerr: LeBron James is more like Scottie Pippen than Michael Jordan
Scottie Pippen's recent comparison of LeBron James to Michael Jordan was off the mark, according to a former Chicago Bulls teammate of Jordan and Pippen.
Steve Kerr says the NBA player Pippen should have compared the Miami Heat superstar to is ... Pippen.
"The irony to me is that LeBron is not Michael. LeBron is actually Scottie," Kerr said Monday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "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."
After James' dominating performance against the Bulls in the Western Conference finals, Pippen told ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" that James may have passed Jordan as the greatest player of all time. Kerr's comments came after James struggled against the Mavericks in the NBA Finals, averaging 17.8 points (well below his regular-season average of 26.7) and scoring a total of 18 fourth-quarter points in five games.
"Phil Jackson used to call Scottie a 'sometimes shooter.' Sometimes they would go in, sometimes they wouldn't," said Kerr, currently a TV analyst. "That's how it is with LeBron. He's a great talent and a great player, but you can see his 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. That's what Michael did in his sleep, so that's why the comparison is wrong."
Kerr added: "Michael had three years at North Carolina with Dean Smith. That makes a big difference. I think he was brought up at a time when there was probably better development at a young age in terms of coaching. I think LeBron is a product of the AAU system where you rely on your athleticism, you go and play 100 games a year but maybe you don't focus on your weaknesses and what you need to lock in on.
"As a result, fundamentally and technically LeBron has some flaws. He has to address those. If I were him, I would spend all summer down on the low block shooting jump hooks and turnaround jump shots -- the entire summer."
-- Chuck Schilken
Photo: LeBron James. Credit: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images