Scottie Pippen will be inducted to the NBA Hall of Fame. Twice, kind of. Once as an individual player and then again as a member of that 1992 Dream team that took Gold in Barcelona and is still hailed as the greatest team ever assembled (sorry Kobe, LeBron and Dwyane…it’s not changing anytime soon). Considering people judge Pippen with such altering and distinct criteria, maybe it’s appropriate that not one, but two Scotties are inducted.
Some players are overrated (Rasheed Wallace). Some players, underrated (Zaza Pachulia, duh). I nominate Pippen as the most simultaneously slept on/overhyped player ever. Let me explain: those who hate on him can point to the fact that he needed Michael to win. True, yes that they didn’t get the championship in that first ’93-’94 season, but let me break every citation rule in the universe and quote Pip’s Wikipedia page:
“That year, he earned All-Star Game MVP honors and led the Bulls in scoring, assists, and the entire league in steals, averaging 22.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.9 steals, 1.9 three-pointers, and 0.8 blocks per game, while shooting 49.1% from the field and a career-best 32% from the three-point line. For his efforts, he earned the first of three straight All-NBA First Team nods, and finished third in the MVP voting. The Bulls finished the season with 55 wins, only two less than the year before.”
Well damn (Gucci voice). Add two Olympic Gold medals (’92, ’96) and it’s easy to see why some people would jump on board the Pip bandwagon. There was even the occasional “better than MJ” whispers, and when he was named to the NBA’s 50 Greatest of All-Time team it fired up a fierce debate with two clear sides. Are you on the “Never got a chance to shine, could’ve been one of the greatest ever” side, or the “rode coattails long enough to stuff statsheets and get rings” team?
I don’t care to choose sides. By the time 1996 rolled around, the phrase “the Pippen to his Jordan” had essentially overtaken “the Robin to his Batman,” and that’s pretty bad ass. Congrats, Scottie & Scottie. You both deserved it.