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Scottie Pippen: LeBron James may have already surpassed Michael Jordan as the greatest player in NBA history

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Miami Heat forward LeBron James smiles during the third quarter of game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals at the United Center in Chicago on May 26, 2011. The Heat won the game 83-80 and the series 4-1. The Heat will face the Dallas Mavericks in the to NBA finals. UPI/Brian Kersey

Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen was so impressed with Miami Heat superstar LeBron James’s performance in the Eastern Conference Finals that he dropped a bombshell on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning on Friday. Pippen believes the two-time MVP may have already surpassed former running mate Michael Jordan as the greatest player in the history of the NBA. “Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game,” he said, according to ESPN. “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.” The Hall of Famer also praised James’s defensive prowess, which was on display throughout the series when he faced the unenviable task of guarding Chicago’s lone superstar, 2010-11 NBA MVP Derrick Rose, in the fourth quarter. Pippen, who served as Jordan’s sidekick when the six-time NBA Finals MVP led the Bulls to six championships in the 1990s, surprised former teammate and close friend Horace Grant with his opinion. “LeBron is going to be one of the top players to ever play the game. But Michael Jeffrey Jordan, who we bumped heads with at times, is I think in my era, the best who ever played the game,” Grant said in response to Pippen’s comments. “I’m kind of at a loss for words because Michael Jordan ... when you win numerous MVPs and you’ve taken the team to six championships – and probably could have been eight if he didn’t retire those two years – and MVPs in the playoffs ... and he made us better. Believe me, he made [us] better players.”