NBA legend Scottie Pippen won six NBA championships playing alongside Michael Jordan — and they won a gold medal together too on The Dream Team. Pippen, an otherworldly and ferocious defender, recently explained how to guard NBA scoring phenom and MVP James Harden, a player many believe is on the same scoring level as Jordan. Pippen is honest in saying how hard it would be to guard Harden, ultimately conceding that he’d have to make the left-handed Harden drive to the basket going to his right. Pippen said he’s pretty much give Harden a “clear lane” to the hoop. Harden, it seems, would certainly like that. (Pippen also says he’d start guarding Harden in the parking lot.)
How is guarding Harden different from guarding Jordan? Pippen says he wouldn’t want to give Jordan a lane to the basket and that he would play Jordan more straight up than Harden, since Jordan didn’t favor either hand or direction. Pippen also said that Harden is more likely to take a 3-pointer than Jordan was, and that as a defender he’d rather have Harden taking 20 right-handed layups than 13 3-pointers. So Pippen would force Harden to drive, and drive right, repeatedly and he’d “chase him” down and look for help. Pippen explains his plan in the video below. Below that is a video of Harden successfully finishing with his right hand, which puts a kink in Scottie’s plan — though Harden does get free going left first.