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Stan Van Gundy wonders if Pippen was actually great

Jun 10, 2011, 1:19 PM EDT

Charlotte Bobcats v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

Scottie Pippen is one of the NBA’s official 50 Greatest Players of All Time. He is a Hall of Famer. He has six rings.

But is he overrated?

There are a lot of people who think he is, and Pippen has always chaffed at that idea, that he was Robin to Jordan’s Batman.

You can count Stan Van Gundy in the group that at least wonders how good Pippen really is. He was being asked by the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi about single star teams that have won titles (like Dallas) and said this:

“I have always wondered, as good as Scottie Pippen was, would he have been considered a star if he hadn’t played with Jordan and had to carry a team on his own,” Van Gundy explained. “We’ll never know, but my point is that sometimes we make the determination after the fact. In other words, after Chicago won championships, we branded Pippen a star.”

It’s an interesting question. Pippen was certainly a great defender and his offensive numbers in his peak years were All-Star levels for sure. But was he more than the sum of those numbers, or was he in the right place at the right time?

To me, Pippen deserves the credit he gets — he may have been a perfect fit for that team, but he was a point forward that ran a smart offense and locked guys down. He made big plays. Put simply, other very talented forwards could not have done what Pippen did, and that was not just about MJ.

But you still hear the whispers.

  1. purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    I’m a lifelong Bulls fans and I’ve always thought that “No Tippin’ Pippen” is one of the most overrated “stars” to have ever played in the NBA, Scottie was always an insecure shrinking violet. Sure, he was an important piece to the Bulls championship run, but put him on any team as the only star and he would have disappeared like John Konkac.

    • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      John Konkac….really….overrated top 50 player…

      Important piece? He was the key piece outside of Jordan….in order for great players to win they need another player to compliment their deficiencies. Jordan would’ve gotten his rings…would they have gotten anywhere near 6 without him? If you think so your nuts.

      • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:44 PM

        Dennis Rodman was far more important to the Bulls last three championships than Pippin was. No Rodman? Jordan or not, no rings.

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:48 PM

        Did you just say Dennis Rodman was more important then Scottie Pippen?

        I don’t have to say anything else….LMAO

        Another post from a person who doesn’t know basketball.

      • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:56 PM

        barkley… why do you seem to relish making an idiot out of yourself all the time?

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:59 PM

        I wasn’t the one that said Dennis Rodman was far more important to the Bulls then Scottie Pippen was….

        Hands down IDIOT statement in this thread. Just own up to it and we can disagree on something else.

      • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:11 PM

        barkley… you continue to make a strong case as to why those of us who frequent this forum think that you should consider changing your handle to “forumidiot” (as in village idiot).

        Hey pal, I lived in Chicago during the Bulls last four Championships, saw virtually every game either in person or on tv, and read and listened to countless hours of commentary and analysis on those Bulls teams.

        Just as Kobe Bryant threw a temper tantrum that ultimately forced the Lakers to accept going deeper into the luxury tax to bring in Gasol, Jordan did the exact same thing in pressuring the Bulls to bring in Rodman, when Rodman was clearly labeled as being “toxic” and no other team wanted any part of him.

        Jordan (and again, remember I LIVED THERE during those years), was very outspoken that if the Bulls didn’t get him inside rebounding help that they weren’t going to win another championship.

        You obviously have some sort of a woody for Rodman, but there’s a reason that Rodman was a first ballot hall of famer last year despite his anti-establishment personna.

        Bottom line? No Rodman, no last three rings for the Bulls. Since you seem to have too much time on your hands, go back and read the Chicago papers leading up to Rodman joining the Bulls and then post something that you know something about!

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:50 PM

        Dennis Rodman averaged 5ppg and 11reb in the playoffs for Chicago during his run with the team…

        Scottie Pippen 18ppg 7.5rpg 5apg

        Yes Rodman played a key part he was no bum. But the constant was MJ and Pip and they won with tons of different players. Rodman was an interchangeable part….Brian Smith Luc Longley Horace Grant Rodman….etc etc…

      • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:11 PM

        barkley… since you fancy yourself such an expert on the Bulls championship teams, tell all of this… honestly now, did you actually live in the Chicagoland area for any of the six? If so, tell me where and I’ll quickly fire back a series of questions to prove if you did or didn’t.

        Back then I lived and owned a house in South Naperville, just south of 95th Street close to where Bollingbrook and Plainfield meet Naperville at the Fox River. I worked for a company based in Chicago suburban Downers Grove and worked out of a building that was midway between Oakbrook Mall and Butterfield Mall.

        My wife was a salesperson for Nordstrom’s at Oakbrook, and my daughter was born in rural suburban Woodfield, IL. I LIVED THERE during the Bulls championship run and lived and breathed everything Bulls during those years, not just googled to look up some pointless stats.

        My company had a block of tickets that all of us shared and one of my co-workers was part owner of a luxury box at the UC and was connected out the wazoo anytime any of us wanted tickets to a Bulls or Hawks game.

        Unless you can substantiate that you had this intimate of a connection with the Bulls during this period of time, you simply lack credibility.

        Rodman did SO much more than ever shows up in stats. He was like an annoying bee in the ears of the opposing players and constantly rattled Bulls opponents by getting under their skins. This can’t be measured in terms of statistics.

        I’m not disregarding Pippin’s contributions by any means though; I’m merely stating that he was an important piece of a puzzle whose sum was far greater than its’ parts, all of which totally revolved around Coach Phil and Jordan to make them all work in harmony.

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        Lol did you just try and use did you live in Chicago as an argument to FACT?

        statement NO.3……..

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:28 PM

        If that is the case why do you comment on anything non Bull related…lol wow so flustered that you used the where you from card?

        You have no intimate connection outside of you lived there which makes you BIASED because you have AN EMOTIONAL connection…

        So where you in the locker room? Did you interview the players? Did pass out equipment….

        Lmao your argument is the equivalent of “I’m not an expert but I did stay at a holiday inn last night.

        Ive lived in L.A., San Antonio, Philadelphia, Miami, Las Vegas, D.C. etc etc…so I guess your not allowed to talk to me about anything that happens in those places because I have more of an intimate connection then you do….

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 10, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        I’m with Barkley here. Scottie pippen was a great all around player and stan van gundy is bs. I remember he was out of his prime and on the blazers, he played great and proved that he was an all-star player.

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 5:11 PM

        When my contract comes up at the end of this year, if Pippen’s not around, I’m not around. I think it’s the same with him. If I’m not around, I have a feeling that he wants to be gone too. I wish there was some way legally that I could give him some of the money that he totally deserves as a player. He’s totally underpaid. For years, I was underpaid, but I played it out, and I think he’s going to play it out too. At the end of three years, I hope they reward him with a just and fair contract.(MJ)

        Jordan: I’d like to finish out my years with Pippen and Phil [Jackson]. Pippen’s got three years left; I’d like to play three more years, and we walk out the same time.

        Your right Purdue…Roman meant way more to Michael before the last three peat….lmao stop your nonsense

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 10, 2011 at 5:55 PM

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Pippen had two really good seasons when Jordan was first retired. So saying he would have disappeared like John Konkac is ridiculous and you know it.

      • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 6:11 PM

        drmonkey… go back and re-READ my post. I said that IMO Pippen would have been long forgotten had he played his career with a mediocre, small-mid market city. Last I checked, Chicago, Houston and New York are all in the top 5 US cities in terms of their overall metropolitan populations.

      • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 6:13 PM

        aboogy… that would likely make you 35 years old or younger; am I right?

    • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      Scottie Pippen might say dumb crap but don’t take away from his on the court accomplishments.

    • randysavage4ever - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:16 AM

      scottie top 10 greatest alive or dead.

      Scottie was full bars on the original NBA Jam on Super Nintendo…

      scottie got 6 rings

      • purdueman - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:25 AM

        I get really tired of the media constantly putting so much stock into how many rings a player does or doesn’t have throughout his career. Fat Dickey Simpson has four rings; should that put him on the all time NBA great player list too? Or Will Perdue who has three rings?

        There’s a difference between All Star very good players vs. the all time elite players, and Scottie falls into the former category, just as Robin is no Batman, but still an effective crime fighting sidekick.

        Classifying No Tippen Pippen as being one of the all time 10 great NBA players is farcical, even for a die hard Bulls fan like I am.

        There are easily 25 former and current NBA greats who fall into the elite class, but Scottie, while being an All Star, isn’t in the same class.

        Name me even one of the top 25 all time elite NBA players who ever quit on his team as Pippen did when Phil Jackson drew up the winning shot in a critical game for Toni Kukoc and Scottie then refused to go back into the game. You can’t!`

      • purdueman - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:28 AM

        Big whoop. So Scottie’s got six rings. Dickey Simpson has 4 rings and Will Perdue 3. I gues using your logic both of them belong on the all time greatest NBA player list too, huh?

      • purdueman - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:33 AM

        Japanese player Tad Iguchi has two MLB Championship rings in just three seasons of playing MLB ball; guess using your logic Tad belongs enshrined in Cooperstown with his bust right next to Babe Ruth’s, huh?

      • kilo0986 - Jun 11, 2011 at 10:09 AM

        dumb a$$……

  2. barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Didn’t Pippen go to the Eastern Conference Finals and was a B.S. Hubert Davis foul call away from being in the Finals? I mean Jordan wasn’t on that team right?……….

    • lunasceiling - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      Correct. Pippen might not have been an iconic superstar as a team’s leading player, but he damn sure would have been a star (and an All-Star). Van Gundy should lay off the bong hits…

    • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      You are 100% correct in your recollection. The Bulls were flat out robbed by bad refs in that Eastern Conference Finals, but what “No Tippin'” Pippin is most remembered for during the two years that Jordan took his ball and traded it in for a smaller one in Birmingham was the crucial game when he refused to go back on to the court because Phil Jackson had drawn up the winning play to go to Toni Kukoc.

      That not only cemented Pippin’s legacy as being the NBA’s biggest cheapskate, but also as “Quitin’ Pippin” too.

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:55 PM

        and they he still took them to the Eastern Conference Finals. You can hate Pippen for that you can call him a douche…but you can’t take away from the man’s skill on the court and what he did.

      • ndirishfan1 - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:05 PM

        Not quite 100% correct… Knicks defeated the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in seven games and then defeated the Pacers (in the iconic Reggie Miller vs. Spike Lee series) to advance to the NBA Finals in ’94.

        Either way, Pippen led a team that replaced Michael Jordan at shooting guard with Pete Myers to 55 wins. He averaged 22 points and just shy of 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals per game as “the man” on 93-94 Bulls squad. Plus, his numbers fell off only slightly the following year.

  3. evanhartford - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    This is why coaching in the NBA is soooo overrated. Everyone says that Phil Jackson should be in the discussion as the greatest coach EVER. Meanwhile, if you stick him on any of the teams that didn’t make the playoffs this year and, chances are, he ain’t making the playoffs.

    • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:40 PM

      Coaching for average to mid level teams is overrated….but for elite teams it is a key ingredient to get them over the top.

      Rick Carlisle is coaching the pants off of Eric Spoelstra right now. Swap positions and it is a totally different series.

      Phil was the perfect fit for the Lakers and Bulls because he knew how to manage EGO’s….and that is a trait that is not easily found.

      • nfl25 - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:45 PM

        wow i agree wit barkley4life for once

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:49 PM

        Lmao NFL25

      • evanhartford - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:49 PM

        My point is that Rick Carlisle and Eric Spoelstra aren’t in the finals without Dirk and Lebron respectively. If the difference between the best coach EVER and an average coach is a slight difference in the ability to manage Egos, then what’s the point of even recognizing coaches when their success is 99% based on their players.

        By the way, this is why I stopped watching the NBA and ONLY watch College Basketball. In the NBA, you might get surprised once a decade with a team making the playoffs. You might get surprised once every 25 years with a team making the NBA finals and you might get surprised once every 50 years with a team winning a championship. Its not like in baseball or in football when you have teams like the Giants or Saints coming off not-so-great seasons and winning championships.

    • nfl25 - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:44 PM

      i somewhat agree but look at the heat. best team in i dont know how many years. i think if they had a better coach they would be more dominant. i also think that the mavs coach is out coaching the heat coach big time. but yeah alot of the time coaches dont mean much in the nba. its not like the nfl, where coaching and qb play is absolutley everything.

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:52 PM

        Carlisle his coaching Spoelstra’s socks off…and in a way Spoelstra is trying to imitate Carlisle…he tried to bring Eddie House out of moth balls to bring some juice of the bench and Eddie was HORRIBLE lol.

        With the EGO’s in the NBA you need a Dominant game managing coach that players won’t try to overrun. Look at all the Finals winners the last decade…Doc..Phil..Pop..Riley…Brown….

      • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        I went to the supermarket last night to buy a bottle of spolestra, but for some reason or other Wesson hasn’t started to distribute it out here yet.

      • pff - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:53 AM

        series is 3-2 yet spo is getting his “socks coached off”

        okay pal…

    • ndirishfan1 - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:40 PM

      I’d have to say Jackson’s work with the 93-94 Bulls was pretty impressive. Also, he had a team in a very deep Western Conference in 05-06 that overachieved greatly… recall the immortal Smush Parker? He was the third leading scorer. Chris Mihm? Fourth leading scorer. And of course, everybody’s favorite — Kwame Brown! This squad nearly upset the Suns in the first round, taking them to seven games.

  4. purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    “No Tippin’ Quitin'” Pippin has always resented being protrayed as Robin to Jordan’s Batman, but that portrayal was spot on because Pippin was a “Boy Wonder”, not the man Jordan was… not even close!

  5. andrejohnsonforpresident - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Scottie was good but look up MJ’s stats.. A top 20 player with Scotties skill set would do work playing next to him and playing in that offense. The man was just a top 20 player who played next to the best scorer of all time.

    • andrejohnsonforpresident - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:49 PM

      Top 20 player at the time*

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:55 PM

        He was arguably top 10. at SF who were better at the time?

      • andrejohnsonforpresident - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:54 PM

        I meant out of all players in the nba. Not just his position.

    • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:43 PM

      andre… no way Pippen is anywhere’s close to being top 20 all time NBA players. In your defense however, unless you’re over 50 and grew up in an NBA city as a fan (keeping in mind that there were far fewer teams back in the ’60’s and ’70’s), you likely never got the chance to see some of the all time NBA greats play (as back in those days the NBA playoffs were only televised late at night on tape delay, unless of course the team in your city was in them and you could pick up the games real time on the radio).

      Older NBA greats who were clearly a notch above Pippen? Just off the top of my head I give you Artis Gilmore, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Rick Barry, Walt Frazier, Patrick Ewing and Julius Erving.

      The ABA had some amazing players that many of you never saw play or read much about (such as George Gervin and Billy Cunningham), who don’t get enough credit for how great they were because of the NBA at the time discrediting the ABA. The fact of the matter was though (and you can look this up), that the year that the NBA absorbed four ABA franchises into the NBA, over half the players at the following years all star game were all former ABA players!

      Of course of the modern era players, players clearly a notch above Pippen include Jordan, Kobe, Magic, Sir Charles, Shaq, Kareem, Hakeem, Bird, Stockton (who doesn’t get enough recognition because he played in a small market and wasn’t on any championship teams), Dirk and Le Bum.

      There… I’ve already given you the names of over 20 players all greater than Pippen. That’s not to besmirch Pippen though; he was clearly a VERY GOOD player and an All Star, but he wasn’t elite.

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:50 PM

        No one said he was top 20 of all time…He was a top 50 player of all time…but during the Bulls run he was arguably a top 10 player. Outside of Jordan Malone Barkley who were in there primes during that time Pippen was just as good if not better then the rest. At SF for that 7 year stretch who do you realistically think was better?

        Potshots outside in that 7 year stretch who was a better SF in the game?

      • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 4:11 PM

        barkley…. I’m sure that you like all of us have seen oil and vinegar mixed to form salad dressing or oil and water mixed in a jar, or what happens to fresh milk from a cow when it’s placed in a bottle.

        That’s what the NBA “top all time 50 players” list is like. Like the analogies above, both the cream and the milk are in the same bottle (in this case top 50 list), but the cream settles to the top while the milk (the very good, but non elite on the list), stay on the bottom.

        Pippen is still in the bottle, but he’s certainly not on top.

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 5:14 PM

        We are waiting…name a better Sf in the game better then Pippen during that 7 year run

    • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:45 PM

      Ok but if he was the best SF in the game during that period how can he be outside of the top ten during their run?

      Arguably during that time you had Jordan Malone Barkley who were superstars…then you had the good to great players like Drexler Payton Kemp Ewing…its hard to keep Pippen out of the top ten. Iverson Garnett etc weren’t on that level yet…

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 10, 2011 at 5:58 PM


      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 10, 2011 at 5:59 PM

        Not small forward obviously. But on your list of superstars.

  6. purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    I LMAO the other day while listening to Jim Rome talk about Pippin’s cheapskate legacy. Rome said that Pippin was known for tipping only 6% (and sometimes less) in restaurants and nothing on alcohol or of course on the bottom line (which includes any applicable taxes).

    Rome said that as soon as waiters and waitresses saw Pippin’s Bentley pull up to a restaurant that he frequented they’d literally try to disappear so as not to get stuck with his table. Some legacy, huh?

    This is an FYI for everyone out there… the IRS automatically assumes that if your occupation is being a waiter, waitress or bartender that you have at least an 8% bump on top of your W2 reported earnings due to tips. Keep that in mind the next time that you may feel inclined to stiff one of these folks; if you really are upset over the service provided, leave an appropriate tip all in coins in the pancake syrup or gravy left over on your plate instead (I carry those dreaded $1 coins with me at all times).

  7. diablito0402 - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Pip was really good player, but top 50 of all time???? I dunno.

    • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      diab… exactly! You’ve hit the nail squarely on the head.

      Put No Tippin Pippin on a mediocre team outside of a big market and nobody outside of that market would even have any recollection as to who he was.

      • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:38 PM

        there you go again…..”nobody outside of that market would even have any recollection as to who he was”….

        lol statement No.2…..

      • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:51 PM

        barkley… you obviously easily amused. Isn’t it time for your handlers to kick you off the internet and put you back in your padded room for your afternoon nap soon?

        Ok, saying nobody outside of a mid-small market had Pippin played for a mediocre team his entire career might be a bit strong, but it’s a given that roto-nerds and the handful of die hard NBA fans who actually give a damn about the entire rosters of every team in any sport will of course know who all of the players are.

        I though could care less about the current makeup of say Sacramento’s or Washington’s rosters. I have better things to do with my time.

      • solomon151 - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:20 AM

        Dude you sound dumb, Pippen was one of the greatest small foward to ever play the game. In fact he created a whole new position, being the Bulls Point Foward. When Jordan retired the first time he led the Bulls in seven different catagories and took them to the Semi-Finals with who on the team. When the Bulls played the Lakers in their first championship, Micheal clearly couldnt check Magic in game one, So what did they do, Put Scottie on him and he was locked down for the rest of the series. When in a game five against the Bullets, HE bailed Micheal out after he lost the ball pulling up baseline for a jumper and lost the ball. Scottie caught the ball and drove to the hoop for a two handed slam on the Bullets whole starting five. In game six against Portland Jordan had the flu and the Bulls was down 11, it was Pippen and Paxson the sparked that comeback with Jordan on the bench and won the game and the Championship. As a matter of fact, The Bulls couldnt get past the Piston until Scottie came into his own. To say Scottie Pippen was overrated is just dumb. At his position Who was a better rebounder, Top of the key defender or Better on ball defender. HE could play and often did play four out of the five position on the court. ONly other person I know that did that was Magic and he played center too once. And to say that Rodman was a bigger factor the Pippen on that championship team is just plain out stupid. It just proves to me what I already knew. Most people let the media tell them what to think, instead of using your own eyes to see the facts for yourself.

  8. barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    and during that run he was probably one of the best all around players in the game. He was a legit triple threat. Pass Score Defend.

    He can be Robin to MJ’s Batman but EVERYONE wouldve been Robin to MJ’s batman.

  9. philtration - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Van Gundy is an idiot.
    Just ask your brother how good Pippen was and why he never got a ring with the Knicks.
    Funny how no one mentions that Magic and Bird both played with a team of all stars.

    Lets see how good of a coach he is after Howard bolts from Orlando.

    • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      Lol I love message boards…me and Phil go back and forth total ends of the spectrum. Then end up agreeing on this….go figure.

      • philtration - Jun 10, 2011 at 10:32 PM

        I am total agreement with you on this one.

    • jjstrokes - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:32 PM

      I assume you pointed out that Magic & Larry had All Stars on their team to defend the Heatles roster. Bird & Magic having all stars, even hall of famers, on their squad is completely different than how LeBron & Dwade teamed up. Almost all NBA teams have all stars; plenty of good NBA teams have had Hall of Famer players too. Look at how many Utah Jazz hall of famers there are (6 or 7) & the franchise has never won a championship. Kareem was nearing his twilight; he’s the only player that either Magic or Larry played with who rightfully could’ve been included in the best player in the world (at the time) discussion. James leaving to join up with one of the very few elite NBA players (top5, prolly top3) is weak, let’s just all accept it. Especially when you consider that he did it in his very prime. Aging stars have been bolting for rings for a while now (Boston just rejuvenated the trend), but I don’t remember any of the previous Greatests (MJ, Russell, Big O, Kareem, etc.) throwing in the towel when they’re only 25 years old. Obviously deep down he knows he doesn’t cajones so he figures, “Well if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” It’s a disgrace to this great league if you ask me. That’s why all the past legends are talking so much ish!

  10. passerby23 - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Look at Scottie’s numbers the year after Jordan left on a team that took the Knicks to the limit:

    22 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 5.6 APG, 2.93 SPG (led the league), shooting .491 from the field. Those are Lebron-like numbers on a team with just decent talent. He also helped a Portland team who was a 4th quarter meltdown away from the NBA Finals. Give the man his due. He’s a Top 50 player.

    • philtration - Jun 10, 2011 at 10:55 PM

      Not to mention that he was one of the best defenders of all time.
      Jordan was a great defensive player but Pippen was even better.
      Come on… 9 time first string All Defensive Team and his name is all over the top 40 in stats on offense and he was not great?

      Best SF of the 80s and 90s and it is not even close.
      Voted as one of the 50 greatest players of all time.
      NBA Hall of Fame.
      He changed games on both ends of the floor and now he is supposed to looked down on for playing with Jordan?

      Bird played with McHale, Parrish and Dennis Johnson.
      Magic played with Kareem, Worthy and Michael Cooper
      Jerry West played with Wilt, Elgin Baylor and Gail Goodrich.
      Dr. J played with Moses Malone, Barkley, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Bobby Jones.
      Karl Malone played with Stockton and Hornecek.

      Those are some damn good players to have on your team.
      Does that mean that none of these guys were really that good or are overrated?

  11. jr1923 - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:06 PM


  12. blueintown - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    @purdueman — It’s P-i-p-p-E-n, not P-i-p-p-I-n. PippEN is the last name of the number two guy on six championship teams, PippIn is a musical about a prince on a quest for the meaning of life. As a “lifelong Bulls fan”, I would think you would know at the very least how to spell the name of one of your all-time greats, like Mikel Jordun, Tony Kucoach, and Dennys Roddmmannn.

    • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:24 PM

      blue… I gave you a thumbs up for not recognizing my sarcasm, but for explaining it for those who didn’t get it. Pippen has always been Pippin, a very embittered man always searching for Michael Jordan like acceptance that he got more than he should of.

      All of us lifelong Bulls fan (and I’ve been a fan ever since the Bulls were granted in as an expansion team and I was beside myself with excitement when the Bulls picked up Artis Gilmore in the ABA dispersal draft), just shook our heads at bitter Pippen when he came out with his anti-Jordan rant last week.

      For those of you who may not know, it was the Bulls who were primarily responsible for assimilating the ABA into the NBA (great book on it: “Loose Balls” by Terry Pluto), because the Bulls badly wanted Artis enough to get the rest of the then league owners to not simply allow the ABA to go bankrupt (which would have occurred).

      My favorite PIPPIN story is the one where he rolled up in his Bentley at a posh near Rush Street hot night club (The Excalibur), in his Bentley. When he picked it up from the Valet after his visit, he begrudgingly bitched about the mandatory $5 charge and then proceeded to tip the kid who retrieved his car A DIME! What an a-hole!

      What’s amazing though is that he made over $100M during his career and he’s still under 50, flat broke and went crawling on his hands and knees for the Bulls to give him a job. When the Bulls did him an ENORMOUS favor by doing a sign and trade deal after the breakup of the last Bulls championship (which made Scottie an additional $5M that he otherwise wouldn’t have made), he publicly ripped the organization.

      To Bulls owner (really managing partner), Jerry Reinsdorf’s credit though, he put all that behind him and gave Pippen a glad hand “public relations” job and buried the hatchet, just as he had done previously with his White Sox Carlton Fisk (Fisk was livid because he had been released immediately the day after having broke Boone’s all time record for career games caught, but the truth of the matter was that Fisk was at that point 42 and most teams would have released him much sooner).

      I’m a walking textbook when it comes to Chicago professional sports history as that’s where I grew up and as mentioned lived during the early to mid 90’s.

      • blueintown - Jun 10, 2011 at 4:27 PM

        Here is Scottie’s statement after being traded from the Bulls to Houston:

        “I would like to thank the Chicago bulls, the great people of the city of Chicago and all my teammates for 11 wonderful seasons..I am excited about my new career in Houston, and even though everything seems to be changing, I hope Bulls fans everywhere will understand that it is time for a new era to begin in Chicago. I wish nothing but the best for the city of Chicago and of the Bulls as a team. Chicago has been my home for nearly half my life, and with my family and friends here, I will always treat the city as home. I only hope the people of Chicago will continue to treat me as one of their own. Thanks for all the great memories.”

        He really let them have it, eh? He never went on an “anti-Jordan rant”. On what planet is calling someone the greatest scorer of all time a put down? For a walking textbook about Chicago sports, you seem to know very, very little about Chicago sports.

      • blueintown - Jun 10, 2011 at 4:34 PM

        AND for the record…if you lived in South Naperville, you didn’t live in Chicago. Ever. Naperville is not Chicago.

      • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 4:37 PM

        blue… nice try (and a total waste of time I might add), in trying to discredit me with respect to Pippen, but just because you can google a prepared statement that Pippen’s publicist and agent wrote in advance for him doesn’t mean squat.

        I lived there and Pippen’s rips on the Bulls organization were all over talk radio and the newspapers after the Bulls traded him for a long, long time afterwards. That was back in the time that Al Gore had just invented the internet and the internet was in its’ infancy, so unless you actually lived in Chicagoland during that period of time, you’d have no way to know what was really going on and said.

        As they say in tennis, “Game, set, match!”.

      • blueintown - Jun 10, 2011 at 4:44 PM

        I did live there, I do live there. I was born here, raised here, live here, and will die here. I’ve lived in Jefferson Park my entire life. It’s actually IN the city limits, unlike your former home. Now zip up your fanny pack and return to Naperville with your cargo shorts and knee high socks. I’m done with you. Cheers.

      • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 5:04 PM

        blue… I grew up on Chicago’s south side. I lived in Naperville for a little under 5 years and we moved there for two very good reasons: 1) It’s almost impossible to find a home with a two car garage, much less a three car garage like we had inside the 294 beltway; and 2) Chicago public schools suck, and Naperville’s are award winning. With young children, it simply was a much better place to be.

        Get off your bravado too about “you weren’t living in the city”; technically yes, reality wise no. ALL of our entertainment and dining out (excluding take out), was done in the city of Chicago the entire time we lived there, and my siblings (who we spent a lot of time with), have lived in the city limits for decades. What city do you think we were plugged into? Des Moines?

        My brother lives in Beverly close to where we grew up and my sister lives in Wrigleyville. I’ll give you street cred for living in the Chicagoland area during the Bulls championship run, but it’s total crapola to fanticize that we weren’t totally plugged into the city itself. Exactly where do you think that most of the people who take the train everyday to work actually work that live in Naperville? Uh, that would be in downtown Chicago.

  13. mytthor - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Pippen certainly benefitted from Jordan and the rings they both won together. He proved when MJ was out that he could be great, but there were a lot of great players who were left off the top 50. Nique, anyone?

    You could say Scottie owes his career to Jordan, but in a way you could say the same thing vice versa. Jordan, as we all like to forget, was a jerk to play with. If he played with someone like Nique, who was probably a better player than Pippen in a vacuum, he may not have won. Who knows; if Jordan had played with a second best player like say, Patrick Ewing, maybe they have a Kobe-Shaq style conflict and have to break up the team?

    It’s all about situations, for coaches or players. Bill Russell won 11 championships without being a good offensive player; does anyone think he would have done that without a good selection of offensive players that not only scored the rock but didn’t mind not being the man? We give a lot of credit (or blame) with regard to guys being the closer, the alpha dog, etc. And yeah, you need those guys. But you also need the great players willing to defer their game to the closer. Maybe if Tim Duncan has a huge ego, he bitches and moans about a BENCH PLAYER getting all his shots in crunch time.

    I’m a lifetime Laker fan, and the best example of this outside Scottie is Worthy. James Worthy probably isn’t even a multiple time all star if he goes to a team without superstars ahead of him, and the Lakers don’t win all those championships. James Worthy has a Finals MVP trophy and never even sniffed the voting for NBA mvp. How many guys can say that? But you’ve got to give a player credit for what DID happen, not for what may or may not have happened. Scottie Pippen, like James Worthy, was an essential cog on multiple championship teams. That’s the bottom line.

    • barkley4life - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:46 PM

      Well said.

    • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      Nice post, mythor!

      I agree; I would put Worthy ahead of Pippen on the top all time players list in a heartbeat too.

      Two other points need to be made here as well:

      1) The level of competition back in the pre-expansion explosion era was FAR greater and better than it is today; and

      2) Back during the Russell Celtic years, the players were all enslaved by contract and unless traded were bound to the teams that picked them in perpetuity. Any basket ball expert from back in those days (and no, I’m not professing to be one of them by any stretch of the imagination), will tell you that Auerbach had a great eye for assembling talent, but wasn’t a great coach.

      Auerbach though didn’t have to deal with player free agency and diluted college drafts for an infusion of talent. Keep in mind that back in those days the NBA draft was NINETEEN ROUNDS and a second round pick back then would be a lottery 1st round pick today (due to the number of teams then vs. now).

      Bill Russell loathed the blatant racism he encountered in Boston, where coming out of college he still had to eat in different restaurants and sleep in different hotels from the rest of the team while on the road, and he would have fled Boston in a heartbeat had there been free agency back then.

      Once the Lakers and Celtics back then got it right in terms of drafting the talent, because there was no free agency and it was easy to find an impact player in the draft (as even the team drafting last got the 10th overall pick), they were on auto-pilot in terms of their ability to win year in and year out.

      In addition there were no “one and done-ers” back then; every player drafted was coming out of a four year collegiate program a lot more mature and far better coached than their counterparts are today.

    • hoopsmccann - Jun 14, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      James Worthy was the number one pick in the NBA draft. On any team but the Lakers his stats would have been higher across the board. He would have been the number 1 scorer on almost any other team. He would have surely been a multiple time All Star.

  14. boondocksaint224 - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Scottie and the Bulls won 55 games, swept the Cavs and took the Knicks to 7 games in 93-94 without Jordan. If he wasn’t that good, the team would have fallen apart. Scottie is a complete IDIOT, but he was an amazing basketball player.

  15. birmy - Jun 10, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Let’s put this into context:

    Pippen said Lebron James was better than Jordan. Pippen looks ever more silly after the sub par series Lebron has had so far against Dallas. Many people took offense to what Pippen said. The fact that some negative comments are still surfacing about Pippen even after he made his tweet-retraction is not surprising.

    More context: Pippen blew threw 80 million dollars according to some online reports so he may not be sharpest tool in shed. Being a world class athlete and knowing what you are talking about are 2 different things. If Pippen downgrades Jordan’s play a bit by saying someone else is better he is actually talking himself up if you think about it.

    I’ll never forget listening to two huge Div. 2 basketball players from North Carolina telling me about 8 years ago there was no way Pippen was top 50 all time and Dominique Wilkins wasn’t.

    Pippen was an excellent player and I recall one NBA Finals where he was absolutely awesome. I wonder if he got Finals MVP? Almost impossible to figure out who the top 50 players were of all time. So many played in different generations.

  16. mogogo1 - Jun 10, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Pippen deserved most all the accolades he received, including the Hall of Fame. But his being a member of the top 50 players ever was the ultimate case of being in the right place at the right time. If that list had been compiled a few years earlier, Pippen wouldn’t have made it; and if it’s a few years later, he’s not on it. Look at all the players not on that list who have moved past Pippen: Kobe, Duncan, Nash, Iverson, Garnett, Nowitzski, LeBron…. And those are just the guys with MVP awards. You’ve got a whole other group like Wade, Pierce, Howard, etc. who are arguably on par with him now or will be by the time they retire. Does Pippen even realize that while he’s debating whether Jordan had slipped from #1 to #2, he’s in a total freefall?

    • pudgalvin - Jun 10, 2011 at 8:07 PM

      No way I put Nash, Iverson, Garnett or Nowitzki above Pippen, MVP’s or not. And Paul Pierce? No way he even gets mentioned in the same breath as Pippen. What doesn’t always translate in looking at stats is that Pippen is the best wing defender ever. I don’t even think it’s an argument. Pippen was the best defensive player on the best defensive team in the league for not one, but 2 of the best teams of all time, while also being the primary ball handler and putting up 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. And you wanna put Steve Nash in there? Come on man. Nash was one quarter of the player Pippen was.

  17. purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    barkley4life – Jun 10, 2011 at 3:28 PM
    If that is the case why do you comment on anything non Bull related…lol wow so flustered that you used the where you from card?

    You have no intimate connection outside of you lived there which makes you BIASED because you have AN EMOTIONAL connection…

    So where you in the locker room? Did you interview the players? Did pass out equipment….

    Lmao your argument is the equivalent of “I’m not an expert but I did stay at a holiday inn last night.

    Ive lived in L.A., San Antonio, Philadelphia, Miami, Las Vegas, D.C. etc etc…so I guess your not allowed to talk to me about anything that happens in those places because I have more of an intimate connection then you do….
    I’m not flustered at all, but I’m proud of where I live now at and where I’m from and just get annoyed by outsiders like you who pull opinions out from up your arse on things that you have only cursory knowledge of and then try to come off as some kind of a self-professed expert.

    I rarely if ever, comment on anything related to San Antonio, Philadelphia, Las Vegas or DC, because I don’t care about the teams in those markets, don’t follow them and don’t pay any attention to them. I didn’t even bother watching the world series last year, and I’m a baseball nut. That’s how disinterested I am in those markets.

    As for LA? I lived in either north San Diego County or Orange County for over 25 years now, with my work stint in Chicago sandwiched in between, so yes, I know one hell of a lot about what goes on in LA, San Diego and Orange County sports wise.

    One of my employees while I was in Chicago (who I hired to assist in writing software manuals that the average person could actually understand), was an AP stringer who worked nights and weekends and was always in the UC locker rooms.

    As to my “intimate connection” to my hometown Chicago teams? Goddamn right about that! I’ve lived through and forgotten more Chicago sports history that you could possibly even read up on the rest of your lifetime.

  18. purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    barkley… wrt a few of your earlier post, just who the hell is “we”? There you go again thinking that more people care about your posts than actually do, but from all your inane “lmao” references, you obviously are easily amused and likely enjoy playing with yourself too.

    I’ll give you a challenge… go to google, find other forums, then go away from here and don’t come back and go to one or more of the ones that you find!

  19. chicagofan - Jun 10, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Another Lifelong Bull’s fan, Pippen was a great player because of Jordan but Jordan needed Pippen to win those 6 championships. Rodman or Horace Grant alone would not have been enough. Pippen does not have the personality to be a leader like Jordan and likely suffers from some degree of an inferiority complex.He also has questionable judgement after stating ringless LeBronze is the best ever. He also has a few baby mommas consistent with that poor judgement. It is irrelevant how he would have done without Jordan, only God knows the answer to that question not VanGundy or anyone else.

  20. rajbais - Jun 10, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    Stan Van … stop being a jackass!!!

    Any pro who made the 1992 Dream Team at the time was a star!!!

    Btw, a guy with 8 All Defensive 1st Team selections with a 18-22 point scoring average during those times was a star. Others who are in his company are Tim Duncan and Walt Frazier.

    Also coach, aren’t you on the hot seat???

  21. randysavage4ever - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    i love stan and usually agree with him 90 % of time, but he way off base, Scottie took Bulls on the brink when Jordan left, they were still in the running for a ring…

    i remember those years, and scottie ended this discussion. are we watching the same scottie?

    scottie = 6 rings

  22. jaypace - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:31 AM

    Pippen is the most overrated player in the history of the NBA. Someone explain how a guy who averaged 17 ppg is one of the top 50 players of all time he would most assuredly be off that list if you include some of today’s stars. He did show his bball iq isn’t too high when he said lebron is better than mj. Pippen is no more than a defensive minded Lamar odom.

  23. jaypace - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:33 AM

    And pippen was not a better defender than mj. He did nothing better than mj. All he was is taller.

  24. macjacmccoy - Jun 12, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Pippen is Alvin Harper great with Michael Irvin (Jordan) but put him on the Bucaneers (Rockets) and hes not all that talented

  25. cleekk - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    I think the point Pippen was trying to make with the comparison of Lebron and Jordan was that Lebron has more tools than Jordan. There are aspects of Lebron’s game that are superior to Jordans. Jordan had the mental side of it down, though. Everything has come too easy for Lebron and if he ever decides to take it seriously he might start winning championships. You didn’t hear any of the mega-stars from years ago making fun of a competitor that was ill (for example). Generally, the old guard didn’t denigrate their competition at all, but rather put their game face on and went out and took care of business, and demanded that the rest of the team pony up and take the game seriously as well. THAT’s the difference between an uber talented guy like Lebron and mega-stars like Jordan. Jordan “willed” his team and himself to win, where Lebron just seems to expect to win.

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