LeBron James doesn't have Michael Jordan's 'clutch gene'. says Scottie Pippen

"When I look at LeBron, he's not what Michael was as a player," Pippen said. "He's not even what Kobe Bryant was as a player."

Scottie Pippen was critical of LeBron James.   -  (Getty Images)

Don't bring up the G.O.A.T debate to Scottie Pippen; he can't seem to make up his mind.

First, the six-time NBA champion Lakers star LeBron James is "right there" last year, which Yahoo Sports noted. Now, Pippen says he doesn't have the same "clutch gene" that former Bulls teammate Michael Jordan had and is showing "little to no effort." 

"When I look at LeBron, he's not what Michael was as a player," Pippen said Thursday during an NBA All-Star segment on ESPN's First Take. "He's not even what Kobe Bryant was as a player.

"So, when you talk about trying to compare Michael's instinct, his ability to take over games, his ability to want to have the last shot, LeBron doesn't have that gene. That's not in him. Kobe has that gene. I see a little bit of it in Paul George. Kawhi (Leonard), (Russell) Westbrook. ... Not too many players go on the basketball court with that." 

Pippen was especially critical of James during the Lakers 117-113 loss to the Hawks on Tuesday.

"I can sit here and say today, I watched LeBron the other night," Pippen said. "The game was on the line. And he made little or no effort to go after the ball."

During the segment, host Max Kellerman defended James, saying he has already played more minutes than Jordan did in his entire career. 

"It's not that," Pippen said. "It's that clutch gene. I'm not taking it away that he don't know how to win, and he's not willing to have the ball in his hands. But the players that have that clutch gene, they're gonna go get that ball."

James is averaging 26.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists through 39 games with Los Angeles.

The Lakers are 10th in the Western Conference and enter the All-Star break with a 28–29 record.

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