Jay C. Brandriet
Scottie Pippen was once underrated. Some time passed, and he became respected for the impact he had in the league. Today, many fans try to diminish Michael Jordan’s legacy, by overrating Scottie.
The haters will say, “Jordan didn’t win anything without Pippen.”
Yes. Scottie was a massive part of six Chicago Bulls title teams. He was the ideal sidekick for Michael. How awesome his career was, is not up for debate.
There is more to the story. Pippen had growing pains on his way to stardom. Michael was pushing and molding him from day one. Scottie needed about five seasons.
A former NBA referee of thirty years was recently on the ” Coach Scott Fields Show”. Derrick Stafford recalled a moment from a late 1980’s playoff series.
“Detroit was very physical. Chicago was up and coming but were not quite ready yet. I heard Laimbeer, Rodman, and Mahorn talking. They were saying, we are always gonna take Pippen out of the game. They couldn’t stop Michael. It didn’t matter what they tried or how hard they fouled him. Whenever Scottie drove to the paint, they would always knock him down. Pippen was not the player he would eventually become. He started going to the basket shy. He knew he was gonna get hit. It’s like he wasn’t even trying to score.”
“Being an athlete, I liked communicating with guys.”
“He walked up to me, and I said Scottie…Until you stop punking out, and go to the hole hard, you guys are never gonna beat Detroit.”
“He looked at me and he didn’t say a word. He turned around and walked back to the bench.”
“I’ll never forget the look on Hugh Evans face. He goes, “I can’t believe you said that.” I said, well he needs to hear it from somebody. Instead of him going off on me, he knew I was telling the truth. He ended up being one of the top 50 players of all time. I had to tell him, until you do your part….ya’ll are gonna keep getting your butt kicked.”
Every legend, including Michael needs help to win rings.
I’ts also true that when Jordan failed early in his post season career, Pippen wasn’t close to being a great player.
The Bulls broke through, when Scottie broke through.
Jay C. Brandriet