The MJ-LeBron debate is hands-down the most overplayed one in sports. You’ve heard both sides make their points by now, so there’s no purpose to re-hashing everything here. This debate should be retired for good.
But as long as the hot takes crowds at ESPN, Fox Sports, and just about everywhere else are going to keep rehashing it, that would make Kyrie Irving comparable to Scottie Pippen in a way. Irving's the co-pilot to LeBron just like Pippen was to Jordan.
It’s obviously a little difficult to compare the two players; both play different positions (point guard for Irving, small forward for Pippen), both played in different eras, and both bring a unique skill set to the table. Irving is more of a scorer than Pippen, while the latter played with a physicality that seldom pops up in today’s game. But in terms of role, each has a similar position with their team in respect to pure star power.
To compare two of the game’s most prolific sidekicks, we’re going to look at both players’ resumes in four categories: Regular-season stats, postseason stats, advanced analytics, and accolades. Since Irving has played six seasons in the NBA, he will be measured up against Pippen’s first six years in the League—this encompasses the 1987-88 season through the 1992-93 season. At this point, Pippen had just come off of his first three-peat with the Bulls, and unlike Irving, never had to play on any pre-LeBron Cavs teams that accomplished little.
So let’s take a look at the numbers: