LeBron James is set to play in the 10th NBA Finals in his 17-year career so far and greats are still doubting his capabilities as a leader and as a player. Having 3-peated twice with the Chicago Bulls, Scottie Pippen does speak with credibility when he says LeBron James is yet to prove himself as a leader.
LA Lakers and LeBron James prepare for the Finals Match up against the Miami Heat on September 30th in these unprecedented times. Despite a historic playoff run so far, LeBron James wasn’t too pleased with the outcome and reportedly said ‘the job is not finished” after the WCF victory. On the other hand, the Miami Heat is a complete surprise out the east filled with a young core. Jimmy Butler, who is considered closest to Michael Jordan in terms of killer instinct proved himself in the playoffs this season.
Whether the star-studded LA Lakers will win the 2020 NBA title or the underdogs Miami Heat is an interesting question. But this is not what’s keeping Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen awake at night. After 8 consecutive finals appearances, 3 rings, and single-handedly carrying an abysmal Cleaveland team to the finals in 2007 this question is just disrespectful to LeBron James’ legacy.
In an interview with Forbes, 6-time champion Scottie Pippen was asked about the LA Lakers and his predictions on the upcoming NBA finals.
“I don’t take nothing away from the Lakers and LeBron going to his 10th Finals,” said Pippen. “He still has to prove he can lead a team himself. I think Anthony Davis has shown he’s more valuable to them on the offensive end but I think Miami has more offensive weapons they’ll be able to throw at LA.”
If LeBron James is not a leader neither is Michael Jordan
While it’s true that LeBron has always needed All-Stars around him to win a championship, it is necessary in today’s league with superstars joining hands to form dynasties. Although, LeBron James may have paved the way for superteams with his famous ‘Decision’ back in 2010. Tired of losing to the Boston Big 3 year after year, he finally decided to join Dwyane Wade in Miami. This sparked debates all over the league and veterans called him weak for making a move like that.
However, the 90s was completely different. The league was not as competitive or unbalanced as it is today. Scottie Pippen’s Batman Michael Jordan didn’t have to get past Golden State Warriors. And speaking of leadership qualities, Jordan was unable to even make it out of second-round without Scottie by his side.
In addition, Chicago Bulls’ toughest competition in the east, Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics were dismantled by the 90s and Orlando Magic led by Dwight Howard and Shaquille O’Neal was just emerging at the time. In the west, LA Lakers were no longer dominant after Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Magic Johnson retired.
Basketball is a team game and no single player can lead a team to a championship.