We obviously know the end result – the Bulls beat the Jazz in the NBA Finals to win their sixth title in eight seasons – but that doesn’t happen without Pippen.
That’s probably not the only Bulls title you could say that about, either.
“When I look at Scottie Pippen, I don’t see the same player as Michael Jordan, but physically, they look a lot alike,” Tiki Barber said on Tiki & Tierney. “They were so similar. I think one of the things Michael said was, ‘Without Scottie, there is no Michael Jordan. There is no MJ.’ Scottie doesn’t get enough love. He is now, obviously, because of this 10-part series, but Scottie Pippen was the man, and I think we discount it a little bit too much.”
The Bulls, without question, discounted him in the 1990s. In 1997-98, Pippen, despite being one of the best players in basketball, was the 122nd-highest paid player in the league.
“I always thought Scottie got enough love, [but] I wasn’t fully aware of how little cheese Scottie actually got,” Brandon Tierney said. “That’s what jumped out to me. If you watched the Bulls back then, you knew he was the best defender in the game in terms of versatility jumping on a point guard and guarding bigs. He could certainly hang with some 4s on some switches, even certain 5s when they stepped out of the paint for a jump-shot or off the pick-and-roll.”
Pippen, 54, helped the Bulls to six NBA titles. A seven-time All-Star, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.