Scottie Pippen has talked about the subject. So has Charles Barkley.

Out of nowhere Monday, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau got asked to compare LeBron James' career to Michael Jordan's.

"With all those type of comparisons, those are tough to make," Thibodeau said. "I don't think you can do it until LeBron is done. To speculate now I guess makes for interesting conversation. They're both great. Of course what Jordan did was just incredible. Who knows? Kobe (Bryant) has had a great career. LeBron has had a great career and he's still young."

James winning his first championship with the Miami Heat last season has changed perception of him from great individual player to champion. Of course, he still ranks five titles behind Jordan.

"Jordan put so much pressure on you in so many different ways," Thibodeau said. "It's a different game now than it was then. It was a lot more physical then it is today. You couldn't play zone the way you can today. In some ways, having the ability to play some zone and use some zone principles helps. It's still difficult to guard the great players. But it helps some.

"And then the flip side is not being able to be as physical hurts you some. When Jordan played, you could play a lot more physical. He took a beating. All the great players take beatings. But it was probably to an extreme in the 90s. I think the game is a lot better today because they cleaned that stuff up."

Thibodeau served as an assistant coach on the Jeff Van Gundy-coached Knicks teams that fell to Jordan's Bulls teams several times in the 90s.