Why Skip Bayless called out former Bulls star Scottie Pippen

Why Skip Bayless called out former Bulls star Scottie Pippen
June 11, 2014, 5:30 pm
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C. Roumeliotis

The Michael Jordan and LeBron James comparisons certainly won't go away anytime soon, and James' Heat closing in on one of Jordan's Bulls records will only add more fuel to the never-ending debate.

But on Wednesday, ESPN First Take ignited a different argument.

After discussing the possibility of James and Carmelo Anthony joining forces in 2015, the First Take panel of Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith sidetracked by debating whether or not Jordan's sidekick, Scottie Pippen, is a top-50 player in NBA history.

"Scottie Pippen was not a top-50 player all-time," said Bayless. "Michael Jordan made him a top-50 player."

[MORE: Michael Jordan surprises grade school class, insanity ensues]

Smith vehemently disagreed and countered, "Outside of [maybe LeBron James], I challenge anybody to tell me there are five players in the NBA that could play defense 94 feet the way Scottie Pippen could play defense. You tell me that."

Bayless raised the point that Pippen's numbers declined when he left Jordan and the Bulls, but Smith argued Pippen "got old" and acknowledged his greatness wasn't on the offensive side of the ball to begin with.

"Scottie Pippen was not great offensively, but he was great defensively," Smith said. "He's one of the greatest defensive players we've ever seen."