Hall of Fame forward Scottie Pippen told The Northeast Ohio Media Group on June 30 he "was LeBron James before LeBron James."
Scottie Pippen believes he was the LeBron James of his era.
Don't Miss: iPhone 8: Everything You Need to Know
This was what Pippen told Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group on June 30.
"I was Lebron James before LeBron James," Pippen told Haynes. "It's not even close."
Haynes says Pippen is turning 50 in September, "but could easily pass for 35." He played alongside arguably the best player the NBA has ever seen in Michael Jordan. Pippen played a hybrid position -- he was a forward who could handle the ball like a point guard.
Pippen was also a defensive force to be reckoned with, per The Northeast Ohio Media Group.
Haynes stresses Pippen playing with Jordan "in many ways took away from Pippen's greatness." What's more is he hasn't been compared to the likes of James even if he has six NBA titles of his own.
Pippen told The Northeast Ohio Media Group on Tuesday people normally compare James to Jordan or Magic Johnson, but he feels he's a better comparison to the Cleveland Cavaliers forward:
"I'm no slouch, but when comparing LeBron's game, I'm usually left out.
"They want to compare him to the greatest, whether it be Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson, but he's more closer to myself.
"It's natural for folks to say that, but if you look at how he plays the game and how I played the game, you'll see more similarities with us."
In another development, The Chicago Bulls, Pippen's former team, are aiming to re-sign 2014-15 NBA Most Improved Player of the Year Jimmy Butler and forward Mike Dunleavy, per The Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson.
Johnson notes the Bulls might be a franchise team for just the second time in their existence. This will hinge primarily on a maximum qualifying offer of five years and $90 million to Butler.
Should Butler take this maximum offer, he cannot sign another offer from another team for fewer than three seasons. The Bulls are determined to match any offer sheet that comes his way, per Johnson.
Bulls general manager Gar Forman reiterated the priority of re-signing Butler and Dunleavy to The Chicago Tribune:
"The most imporant pieces or our summer are retaining the guys we have -- Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy. After that, there won't be a lot of flexibility. We'll have a spot or two to fill but not a lot of money to do anything on a major scale."
"I love being here and would love to be back," Dunleavey told The Chicago Tribune. "Re-signing is a priority."
Johnson says Chicago is confident it can re-sign Dunleavy. Otherwise, the team is looking at former Bulls player Marco Belinelli as its Plan B.
Other free-agent guards the Bulls are reportedly eyeing include Rodney Stuckey, Gary Neal, Mo Williams, J.J. Barea and Jeremy Lin, per The Chicago Tribune.
Point guard Kirk Hinrich exercised his player option and is returning, per Johnson.
Forman told The Chicago Tribune he is pleased with the development.
"We're happy that Kirk picked up his option," Forman said. "We think he's a very valuable piece, has been in the past. We feel that way and (coach) Fred (Hoiberg) feels that way moving forward."
Make sure to log on to I4U News for the latest trends and developments for the geek mind.