Scottie Pippen was many times in the shadow of Michael Jordan, but nonetheless, no one can ever forget how great he was.
Like so many great players, he had to earn his way to “riches”. When he went into college he was 6 foot 1 inch (1.85 m), but during that time, he grew taller by a head.
Standing 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m), he was considered a possible choice for the upcoming NBA draft in 1987. That very NBA draft is the draft when the Chicago fans and the world of basketball will never forget what it meant.
Even though he was drafted as a fifth overall pick by the Seattle Supersonics, he was immediately traded to Chicago. He worked out so hard that many people forgot just how skinny he used to be.
When he was playing for Chicago, he was a formidable defensive force. Scottie actually lead the season in steals (in 1994).
10 times he was chosen in the NBA All-Defensive Team. The first three-peat that happened there was never, ever going to happen if it wasn’t for Scottie. Michael Jordan once said that he gave him the drive to be the best basketball player on practice and that he’ll always remember him like a great team player. Whenever I had trouble with the other team, Jordan says, I knew I had someone to watch my back. That someone is Scottie.
After the amazing, emotional, never-to-forget Bull’s three-peat, Jordan shocked the public when he announced his retirement. It was Scottie’s time to shine. That season, 1994, they won 55 games which is only 2 wins less than the season when Michael was around. That very season, he was chosen as the Most Valuable Player in the NBA All Star Game. I guess he was pretty much motivated to show his skills.
Well, the second three-peat, that has been so much talked about, happened because of Pippen just as much as it did because of Jordan. Okay maybe, Jordan had a slightly bigger role in those key moments but all I’m saying is that he’d never would’ve done it if Scottie Pippen wasn’t around. In 1998, the big three, Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan and Pippen, all decided to leave Chicago.
Pippen played one season for the Houston Rockets and 4 seasons in Portland. Nothing special happened there for Scottie. The last season was in Portland in 2004 when he retired. In 2005, the Chicago Bulls retired his No.33 Jersey.
Also, Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan were present at that special moment. Here’s what emotional Pippen said at that ceremony…