One of the most intriguing comebacks in NBA history never happened as Scottie Pippen nearly teamed up with LeBron James during the 2006-07 season.
Pippen nearly came out of retirement as a 41-year old to join James’ Cleveland Cavaliers, who went on to the NBA Finals in June of that year.
The Cavs were reportedly among a number of NBA teams who were interested in acquiring the services of the Chicago Bulls legend.
"I'm thinking of trying to come back for the playoffs," Pippen said back in 2007. "Something like the last two months of the season, somewhere I can come back and play limited minutes to start, play point forward for someone and build toward the playoffs. It's something I've been thinking about for the last three months."
Pippen retired years earlier due to injuries, playing in only 23 games when he returned to play for the Bulls in the 2003-04 season.
"Being out of the game, my body feels great," Pippen added. "Taking this break, it feels amazing. I'm looking at somewhere I could play maybe 15 minutes. I'm not trying to be a big-money guy or anything, [just trying to] get with a team I can help in the playoffs.
"I'm moving good. I feel pretty fast and you don't forget the game."
The 6-foot-7 Pippen would have been a good pick up for the Cavaliers as their playoff run brought them to the Finals against the San Antonio Spurs that year. The Cavs would have benefitted from his vast playoff and championship experiences, and he could have aided James in figuring out how to solve the Spurs’ defense.
The Cavs were swept by the Spurs 4-0 as an inexperienced James couldn’t figure out how to lead his team to a title.
Unfortunately for Pippen, no deal was consummated and what would have been a dream pairing evaporated into thin air.
The Cavaliers would eventually win a championship with James nine years later in his return to Cleveland. Coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals, the Cavs came roaring back to defeat the Golden State Warriors in historic fashion.