LeBron James greater than Michael Jordan?

So said Scottie Pippen, on “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on ESPN today. He created a storm of a debate with his comparison of his former Chicago Bulls teammate and the Miami Heat’s James and stepped back from the brink via Twitter this afternoon.

(Jason Segel has the answer, at 1:53 of this clip.)

Here’s what Pippen said:

“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game, but I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he is so potent offensively that not only can he score at will but he keeps everybody involved.

“You have to be on your Ps and Qs on defense. No guy on the basketball court is not a threat to score with LeBron James out there. Not only will LeBron dominate from the offensive end as well, but he's also doing it on the defensive end, which really makes him the complete package. He's able to get in those passing lanes, shoot those gaps and create transition opportunities where he is pretty much unstoppable.”

And the clarification he issued:

Don’t get me wrong, MJ was and is the greatest. But LeBron could by all means get to his level someday.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet ReplyScottie Pippen

Pippen won six titles on Bulls teams with Jordan, but said James is growing in stature.

“I'm seeing a great player, and a player that we've all admired for the last [seven] years of his career, but this [eighth] year here, he has really brought the complete package,” Pippen said. “I've never seen a player that can dominate a game the way LeBron James can. He don't always have to score. He makes plays for other guys. But when the game is on the line and you need a shot to be made, he's going to make that play. He’s shown that throughout this [Eastern Conference finals] series that he can make big shots.

“I think there has always been a knock on him that he don't make the big shots down the stretch. Well, I think they can put that behind him now. He's a shotmaker. And right now he's a man on a mission.”