Jay C. Brandriet
“The Last Dance” documentary aired 18 months ago. It’s still handing out free content.
Scottie Pippen and others feel slighted from this show, and are pushing back.
Michael Jordan’s vulnerability, and competitive arrogance, have made HIM the victim of his own film.
Scottie has the right to be mad. He’s become a sympathetic figure, and he’s milking it.
He’s pissed and trying to sell a book.
There’s this growing emphasis towards things MJ failed to accomplish without Scottie.
Michael lost games early on?
He never won a championship without Pippen?
Every champion needed help.
When receiving one of his Finals MVP trophies, MJ yelled out an unforgettable sentence to Scottie.
“You’re MY MVP dog!”
Scottie was special and Mike knew it.
His contribution to winning leaves him as my “25th greatest player of all time.”
Scottie became a star in his fourth season.
The difference in his level compared to Mike? Let’s call it the grand canyon.
Pippen broke through, and the Bulls became a dynasty.
HIS emergence was the key.
Jordan was dope from day one.
WHO WAS PIPPEN WITHOUT MJ?
While MJ was playing baseball in 1994-95, Scottie shined.
He was the All-Star game MVP, and more notably finished third for league MVP.
The Bulls won 55 games and lost in a round 2 matchup.
This was the series Pippen chose to not check back into the game, when the last play was called for Toni Kukoc.
This was Scottie’s best individual season.
YEAR TWO OF MIKE PLAYING BASEBALL
Scottie had another terrific regular season. He led the NBA in steals.
His Chicago Bulls were 34-31.
Jordan and his baseball body showed up to finish the regular season.
This lifted the squad to a 13-4 mark down the stretch.
That Spring was Jordan’s most glaring on court failure.
He had two crucial turnovers in the clutch vs Orlando.
It was his “most mortal” moment and Chicago lost in the second round.
Do you realize Scottie Pippen lost in the second round too?
Nobody’s ever said it loud.
We don’t hold Pippen to THAT standard.
Mike gets all the glory you say?
Well, that loss was clearly Jordan’s wasn’t it?
HOW GOOD WAS PIPPEN AFTER THE BULLS DYNASTY ENDED?
In 1998-99 Pippen joined an old man super team with Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley.
Scottie showed he was still versatile.
It was a complete disaster.
The Rockets exited the post season with one victory.
Scottie shot a dismal 32.9 percent from the field.
He’s been taking shots at Barkley ever since.
HE COULDN’T WIN WITH ALL TIME TALENT
In Portland he played with the following guys.
Rasheed Wallace at his most unguardable.
Arvydas Sabonis at his NBA best.
These rosters had even more quality bench guys, and won a lot of games.
Portland blew a fourth quarter lead in game 7 of the West Finals.
They proceeded to go out in the first round, three straight seasons.
You say Scottie was old? Had a bad back?
Last time I checked, Jordan’s Wizards days count in these debates.
HOW SUCCESSFUL WAS PIPPEN WITHOUT MJ?
The first run at it he maintained his superstar status. His individual best, was followed by a meltdown.
Then he had his team a hair over .500, until MJ made them viable.
After his Bulls days, he was a solid starter. He was “good.” His numbers look like a high level role player.
Without Mike, Pippen played at a B minus level and didn’t win.
No big deal. We just need both sides of the story.
It’s true that Pippen used to be under appreciated.
A new generation trying to rewrite history, are inflating his rep a bit.
I’m convinced of the following.
Jordan needed Pippen to win.
Pippen needed Jordan, to become Scottie Pippen.
Jay C. Brandriet