Scottie Pippen seems to be on some sort of journey in recent days. The NBA Hall of Famer has made many comments and more often than not has backtracked on what he said.
For example, he called LeBron James the GOAT just a few days ago. But now it seems that Pippen has changed his mind and apparently there is no GOAT in team games. While this might be true up to some extent, Pippen hailed himself as on the same level as Michael Jordan just a few days ago as well.
So there is no surety of what is going on inside the head of the six-time NBA champion. Elaborating more on his comments about no GOAT in the game of basketball, Pippen revealed in an interview:
"There's no greatest in a team sport. Let me get that clear... There's no greatest in baseball. There's no greatest in football. There's no greatest in basketball. There may be a greatest in golf. There may be a greatest in tennis and maybe some other individual sports that I can't think of right now. But in team sports, there are great teams and there are outstanding individuals, but that don't make them the greatest."
(starts at 6:20)
There are no doubts that there have been many great teams in basketball over the years. But in those teams, there are usually some players who are considered on a level above the others.
For each of the greatest teams ever to feature in the league, this has usually been the case. We might take the example of any LeBron James team and he has usually been the best player on the court for his teams. The reason is quite simple because James can do almost everything on a court at an elite level.
Similarly, when Michael Jordan was active in the league, he donned that role for the Chicago Bulls. No matter what anyone might say now if it weren't for Jordan, there is a very slim chance that the Bulls would have won six NBA Championships and gone unbeaten in all six of the NBA Finals.
Even in the case of Jordan, sometimes other players shined more than him. Like during the 1997 NBA Finals, despite winning the Finals MVP, Jordan kept on cheering Scottie Pippen and calling him MVP.
At the end of the day, the GOAT debate is far from over and there is a chance that it might never be concluded. Moreover, each individual has a different definition of the term GOAT in basketball, which means, we are likely to never find a true definitive GOAT that everyone agrees upon.