Pippen: “It’s Not About LeBron James”

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 2: NBA Legends, Magic Johnson and Scottie Pippen pose for a picture before the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets during a preseason game on October 2, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

On ESPN’s show The Jump, former Bulls superstar Scottie Pippen talked about the Lakers issues to start the season.

“I think the problem with the Lakers is more the inconsistency from their younger players. It’s not about LeBron James, he’s definitely brought the heat, he’s brought his leadership and a lot to put this team going in the right direction. It’s the real inconsistencies with the young players they have to play at a higher level and they have to be held accountable for it.”

The quote itself reads like disparaging comments from Pippen, but when you listen to the video and hear him talk, he isn’t necessarily criticizing the young core. Mostly, he’s trying to analyze why the Lakers have had a slow start to the season, and his explanation is that the young core just isn’t coming through when they need to.

While most people think that the issue with the Lakers during the opening stretch of the season was a lack of a true backup center, which has since been solved with the signing of Tyson Chandler, Pippen is right in some regards to criticize the young core. They have generally been inconsistent in the close games that the Lakers have played. However, it’s unfair to put the blame on a young core, because by their very nature, they are going to make mistakes. They are young. You gain consistency by putting yourself into close situations over the course of your career, it’s not something that happens all at once.

Again, don’t look at Pippen’s comments and assume that he was just another sports guru yelling at kids for being kids. He was just trying to analyze the situation the best that he could, and the young core’s inconsistencies was what he thought the issue was.


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