Scottie Pippen thinks LeBron James could be better than Michael Jordan some day.
This isn’t an entirely new idea. TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott expressed similar sentiments today. Still, it was a bit of a kick to the face to Bulls fans, considering LeBron is currently holding their still-beating hearts in his hand today.
It’s possible. LeBron might be the GOAT someday. Or he might not. We won’t know for a while.
What we do know is that the 2010-11 Bulls weren’t good enough to get the job done. And, not surprisingly, Pip has some thoughts on that subject as well.
Yes, he was looking at you, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.
Said Pippen: “You can’t have two of your top high-paid players sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter. And that isn’t just last night’s game. We have seen this the whole season. So for us to think the Bulls are going to go farther when your high-priced players are not going to carry you and finish games for you … you’re not talking about a championship team.
“You can’t hide at this stage of the season. At this point, you have to be able to play through everything because if you’re trying to hide a guy or a guy is not performing for you, it’s going to show offensively in the playoffs and it’s going to be magnified … We all know Carlos did not play at the level the team needed him to and that that hurt them more than anything because they couldn’t rely on him.
“The flagrant foul, the pushing calls, the inability to finish strong around the basket. Now you’re a liability. We can’t hide you and now we have to take you out of the game. … When it came down to it, Miami had three guys who could make shots and the Bulls had maybe two and a half. Maybe Lu [Luol Deng], his offense had been there. But it’s a half when Boozer is coming up with 10 points and you need 20, or Joakim is coming up with one point and you needed 10. You never had that third guy.”
All I can do is sigh.
I’m not sure where the Bulls go from here. There’s this general feeling that they failed utterly. Yet they weren’t blown out and could have won every game they lost in this series. The problem wasn’t all Boozer, nor Noah, nor Derrick Rose…although each of them carries a fair share of the blame.
Some of it also goes to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. He never could decide on a substitution pattern. Yes, Rose stumbled and choked down the stretch, but he never got a single second of rest in the second halves of the final two games. Thibs also went to Kurt Thomas far later than he should have.
This is finger pointing time, but the critics better have a full 10 digits, because there’s plenty of pointing to be done right now. The devil is in the details, and the details did the Bulls in.
So did LeBron and Dwyane Wade. They both made clutch plays throughout the series. The Bulls lost the series and those men took it.
The question: Where do the Bulls go from here?