Sometimes glowingly, sometimes derisively, Scottie Pippen has often been called the Robin to Michael Jordan’s Batman. He was the dutiful sidekick that allowed the main star to shine and reach his true potential. The truth is that Scottie Pippen was a star in his own right and one of the finest all-around players to find his way to the NBA.
If creating a prototypical small forward in a laboratory, Pippen’s frame, physique, and skills are likely the result. His frame was 6’8″, which is big enough and small enough to defend most forwards and guards. His physique was wiry yet strong. His hands large and quick. He could muscle smaller opponents while being fast enough to beguile larger ones.
The skills were tremendous. He could make the right pass at the right moment. His jump shot grew to respectable accuracy. His drives to basket or dunks on the break became fearsome. His long arms allowed him to block many shots and poke away even more steals.
His career averages speak to this excellent versatility: 16 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block.
Alongside Michael Jordan he likely formed the most devastating perimeter defensive duo in basketball history. The pair delivered six titles to Chicago and strung together the largest single season win total in NBA history. Without Jordan, Pippen took the Chicago Bulls to a 55-win season in 1994 where they fell in a controversial 7-game series with the New York Knicks. In 2000, he was the veteran linchpin to catapult Portland to within minutes of an NBA Finals.
Success without Michael Jordan ultimately proved elusive. Just keep in mind Michael Jordan had the same elusive problem without Scottie.
Years Played: 1987 – 2004
6x Champion (1991-’93, 1996-’98)
8x All-Defensive 1st Team (1992-’99)
2x All-Defensive 2nd Team (1991, 2000)
3x All-NBA 1st Team (1994-’96)
2x All-NBA 2nd Team (1992, ’97)
2x All-NBA 3rd Team (1993, ’98)
7x All-Star (1990, 1992-’97)
All-Star Game MVP (1994)
NBA – 1178 Games
16.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.2 APG, 2.0 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 47.3% FG, 70.4% FT
SPG Leader (1995)
Contemporary NBA Ranks (1987-88 season through 2003-04 season)
2nd Steals, 8th SPG
11th Points, 8th FGs Made
19th 3PTs Made, 26th FTs Made
10th Assists, 25th APG
22nd Blocks, 32nd BPG
6th Games Played, 4th Minutes Played