This really shouldn't be all that surprising to anyone.
LeBron is basically a very rich man's Pippen. Scottie sees a lot of himself in Bron, so naturally he's going to pump him up.
Same goes for Jordan's respect and choosing of Kobe over LeBron. He sees himself in Kobe, and even though Kobe's a poor man's Jordan, he has respect for him because of a similar competitive nature, drive, skill set ... and the fact Kobe clearly idolized Jordan, and asked him for guidance early on in the league.
Plus, Kobe ALWAYS has MJ's back. When asked after the game against the Heat the weak before All Star Break on the comparison of James / Wade to MJ / Scottie, and asked who Kobe thinks is better his response:
MJ and Scottie. They got 6 rings.
Same goes for MJ's logical reasoning for choosing Kobe all-time over LeBron. Much like Pippen, Bron is kind of a natural beta. Kobe, like Jordan a competitive alpha.
This could be none more apparent than in Bron's refusal to step up to the mano y mano challenge in the All Star Game when Kobe literally punked him in front of all his elite peers.
MJ would've gone at Kobe, and vice a versa. Hell they did it in 1998, when MJ was 35 and Kobe 19. They are both, as MJ said, cursed ... as competitors. Bron, he kind of has an at times Pippen-esque, whatever demeanor when challenged. And like when MJ used to challenge Pip mano y mano, Pippen would tuck his tail and cede dominance to MJ. It can be seen in Charity Games, and stories of them in practice.
Pippen reps Bron because they're similar. All around ball players, versatile team defenders (though not near as good man defenders as MJ or Kobe) ... they're both jack of all trades, master of none.
Kobe and Jordan, all around ball players who at the end of the day can score at an elite level. For as great of all around players as Bron and Pippen are (Bron being better) I still don't think they're the greatest scorers in the half court.
That's why I'd even take Wade (another poor man's Jordan) as scorers over LeBron. Pip's statements shouldn't be all that surprising.
Pip used to hate on Kobe to on the sly, probably because how he mirror's Jordan and deep inside Pip might resent Jordan's fame and recognition over him. Kobe also used to get the better of Pippen, too.
At the end of the day, I'm still taking MJ > LeBron, Pippen, Kobe, or Wade.