One half of one of the most successful teams of all time, Scottie Pippen is best remembered as the main man for Michael Jordan on the Chicago Bulls, winning six titles and making the All-NBA first team thrice. He is still considered as one of the best defenders as well as one of the more complete and versatile players to ever play.
Although overshadowed by Jordan for most of his career, it has to be remembered that the Bulls and Jordan never made it to even the conference finals before Pippen joined Chicago.
His biography on the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s website states, “The multidimensional Pippen ran the court like a point guard, attacked the boards like a power forward, and swished the nets like a shooting guard.” Phil Jackson once described him as a “one-man wrecking crew”, capable of guarding anyone from the point guard to the center position.
Although he started out as more of a traditional Small Forward, Scottie Pippen slowly expanded his game under the tutelage of Jackson and Jordan to become one of the best players in the league. With both superstars at the top of their game, Jordan and Pippen would regularly battle it out with other to see who could get more steals and points off them every game. Athletic and lanky, Pippen was devastating on the fast break, regularly dunking on fast breaks and turning defense into offense.
In 1989 and 1990, Pip helped the Bulls to the Conference Finals but they would eventually lose to the Detroit Pistons. When the Bulls finally came over that hump, they would knock the door down and win three titles in a row from 1991 to 1993. Pippen had some memorable moments throughout, recording triple doubles and coming up with big plays on both the offensive and defensive ends. When MJ took some time off for baseball, Pippen led the Bulls team on his own back from 1994 to 1996.
The Bulls could not continue their winning streak, losing to their fierce rivals the New York Knicks in the conference finals. But with Jordan’s comeback, the Bull would once again dominate, winning another three peat between 1996-98. This time the Bulls also created a record for the best regular season record with 72-10. With illustrous teammates like Horace Grant, Denis Rodman, Toni Kukoc and Roger Harper, this Bulls team is considered one of the best of all time.
Scottie Pippen was also a member of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Dream Team’s and won two gold medals. After leaving the Bulls in 1998, he would go on to represent the Portland Trailblazers and the Houston Rockets, both with distinction.
With six titles and multiple All-NBA team representations, Scottie Pippen is one of the most decorated and highly respected players of his time and one of the best Small Forwards of All-time.