Scottie Pippen calling out Allen Iverson for leaving Bill Russell off All-Time Top 5, and Russell reacts
After NBA icon Allen Iverson released his top-five players of all time, Hall of Fame forward Scottie Pippen has called out “A.I.” for not including legendary center Bill Russell on his list.
Iverson, nicknamed “The Answer” in his playing days, instead had Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry on his all-time starting five. To be sure, every player on Iverson’s list dominated his era like no other. However, Pippen felt that Iverson was failing to recognize Russell, an 11-time champion and the wily Russell to thank Pippen for remembering him.
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) December 7, 2018
This is why these top-five arguments are ill-advised. Trying to quantify who was better between players like O’Neal and Russell is impossible. Firstly, as they played in completely different eras (Russell played in the 50s and 60s while Shaq wasn’t even born until three years after Russell retired), the style of play and rules were dissimilar. Further, though Russell was an elite shot-blocker and rebounder who was also a player-coach in his career, O’Neal was one of the most unique and unmovable forces that the NBA has ever seen.
The same logic applies to age-old arguments like who’s better between LeBron and Jordan.
However, these arguments always seem to strike a chord with basketball fans. That’s why the arguments surrounding who are the all-time greats will never disappear, even when the questions seem unanswerable.
Even Pippen was tired of the conversation on “The Jump” when host Rachel Nichols transitioned from top-five to greatest of all-time. Of course, Pippen went with his former teammate in Jordan, who went 6-0 in the NBA Finals and was one of the most complete and dominant players the league has ever seen. However, he wasn’t thrilled to be re-hashing the same old argument.
People love to debate the greatest players of all-time but it doesn’t make the prospects of such a discourse any more appealing; one player will always seem slighted.