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Karl Malone says he would have taken Pippen over Jordan

Jun 13, 2012, 3:12 PM EDT

Michael Jordan Scottie Pippen Flu Game

Note to NBA team owners: Don’t make Karl Malone your general manager.

Malone was on the Dan Patrick Show Wednesday, talking about the Dream Team (be sure to watch the new documentary on NBA TV tonight, it rocks) and as part of the conversation he talked about Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.

And Malone has it backwards (hat tip to

“I would have to start my team with Scottie Pippen,” he said. “This is why I would take Scottie: Do you remember the time that Michael retired? I watched Scottie Pippen when the Chicago Bulls weren’t really good and Scottie led that team in every statistical category, and I just remembered that. Plus, he’s a guy who could care less about scoring. He wants to stop the best player on the other team. That would have been pretty cool, to see Scottie guarding Michael.”

Those Bulls teams that weren’t very good added Jordan back and they won titles again. Just sayin’.

I get that some people vastly underestimate how great a player Scottie Pippen was. He is a deserving Hall of Famer, one of the 50 greatest players of all time. A legend. If you think even Jordan could have did what he did on his own, well, why not look at how LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have done the last few years.

But Pippen is not Jordan. That’s not a discussion we are going to entertain.

  1. nyg88 - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    …take pippen over jordan in what?

    • franchiseplaya - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      the NBA All Ugly Team.

      • franchiseplaya - Jun 13, 2012 at 5:00 PM

        A thumbs down? looks like Scottie Pippen reads these comments!

    • ccshocktalk - Jun 13, 2012 at 10:00 PM

      The author has it all wrong.

      “Those Bulls teams that weren’t very good added Jordan back and they won titles again. Just sayin’.”

      Michael Jordan didn’t come back until the final 17 games, so lets not pretend that he got them somewhere besides where they were already going, to the playoffs. Michael came back and they went 13-4.

      Jordan’s last year before his first retirement the Bulls went 58-24 (and had Horace Grant on their team), the 93-94 team without Jordan and with Grant went 50-32, the 94-95 team that Jordan came back to for 17 games went 54-28 and did not have Grant. If you take away those 17 games that Jordan did play in the team is 41-25, who knows if they would have won the additional 13 games with or without MJ. Karl Malone isn’t wrong, the Bulls were pretty solid when they were led by Pippen, just sayin’

      Oh, and when the Bulls went on to win another ring, lets not forget they added one of the greatest defensive players who will ever play the game in Dennis Rodman.

      Recap- Jordan’s last year 92-93 58-24 (with grant) Bulls without Michael and without Grant when Scottie led the way went 54-28…that’s only a difference of four games without the greatest player ever, and without another star in Grant…I’d say Scottie did pretty well leading this team back to the Eastern Conference Semi Finals.

  2. nyg88 - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    …take pippen over jordan in what?

  3. nyg88 - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    …take pippen over jordan in what?

  4. nyg88 - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    …take pippen over jordan in what?

  5. footballgod87 - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    1. Two thoughts. Karl Malone is scum and he’s not very smart if he would take Scottie over Michael.
    2. Everything you said is right Kurt.

    • iknowzeroaboutsports - Jun 13, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      “2. Everything you said is right Kurt.”

      Even his grammar? “Could have did

  6. bougin89 - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    I totally agree Kurt. I think Pippen is a legend in his own right and is vastly underrated and personally I was a HUGE Pippen fan back in the day but I would never claim Pippen was better than Jordan.

  7. rayburns - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    That’s like saying that you’d rather have Robin protecting your city instead of Batman.

  8. dgbk - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    was this a i will take pippen over jordan starting a team. or was it a i will take pip over jordan as a teamate. If its the first i disagree if it was who will malone like to play with i can see why he would pick pippen. Malone was a scorer he wouldnt wanna play with another scorer like mike. key thing he said is pippen could care less about scoring…to me that mean he would rather play with scottie than mike.

  9. azaanforeal - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    I feel Karl Malone hate jordan because he is the guy that stop him from ever winning a championship . He just upset i think he knows jordan is guy he would pick……….give karl a break

  10. trybe29dr - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Must have been the “mailman doesnt deliver on sunday” joke scottie shared with malone

  11. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    … and that’s why Malone is the loser he is and always has been.

  12. franchiseplaya - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    To play devils advocate, malone may have a point, however weak it may sound. If Pippen had retired and left jordan with that team, could jordan have led that team to the finals or a championship? Too be honest I’m not so sure, they needed each other, it was a symbiotic relationship. its simplistic to say all they did was add jordan back into the mix and, Voila!, instant championship, they also added rodman and kucoc became a more reliable, experienced NBA player.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      I don’t think you meant to, but you are implying that Pippen took that team to the finals. He did not. If memory serves me correct, they lost in the Eastern Semifinals.

      • franchiseplaya - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:56 PM

        yes you are correct i was just speaking in terms of a better result, being the finals or a championship but i guess i should have included the ECF as well. i was trying not too be too long winded as most of us know the history but thank you for clarifying.

      • berbes - Jun 13, 2012 at 5:38 PM

        pip always had a habit of leaving the game early when plays weren’t drawn up for him…oh, and the concealed ‘gun’ thing. other than that…

  13. canehouse - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    This proof that Malone took too many shots to the head during his stint as a wrestler. What a Rube!

  14. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Those Bulls that weren’t very good? Hue Hollins CHEATED FOR US in the ECF in ’94. (How many times do you hear Heat fans admitting the refs cheat for them? A sane Knicks fan here admits it) The Bulls would have been in the Finals, and there’s no one on that ’94 Bulls team that would have pulled that 2-18 GAHBIDGE that Starks pulled. They could have and would have beaten Houston. They won 55 games without Jordan. What is the basis for that foolish statement?

    • franchiseplaya - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM

      If hakeem could dismantle one of the 50 greatest players of all time in Ewing, he probably would’ve avg 50 pts a game against the bulls centers of purdue, wennington and longley. no way that bulls team beats the rockets without jordan. hakeem was out of his mind good those championship yrs. And you kind of validate malones point, they won 55 games because pippen is that good an all purpose player.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 13, 2012 at 6:40 PM

        Ewing had a great series. The focal point would not have been Longley or Perdue or whoever it was the Bulls had in the middle. Cartwright, whoever. Those Rockets were much like this year’s Celtics and those Bulls were a lite version of this year’s Thunder. THey would have outrun them. The Knicks loved to pound the ball inside to Ewing and grind it out defensively. Two different teams. The ’95 Rockets probably weren’t going to lose to anyone out of the East (although it is debatable that the ’95 Knicks were better than the ’94 Knicks if PAT JUST DUNKED IT INSTEAD OF ATTEMPTING A FINGER ROLL. We will never know.

        But my initial point was to contradict the ludicrous statement by the author, not to get into a series of pointless woulda, coulda, shouldas.

  15. 11jlacy - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Scottie was an all around player no dought but mj a beast to mvp n def player of the year finals mvp in one season, that speaks for itself.

  16. trick321 - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    # of rings Jordan won without Pippen… 0

    Bulls record w/Jordan before Pippen (’84-’87)… 108-138 (.44%), 1-9 playoffs (.10%)
    Bulls record w/Pippen w/o Jordan (’93-’95/ first 65 games of ’94-’95)… 89-56 (.61%), 6-4 playoffs (.60%)

    Wizards record w/Jordan (’01-’03)… 74-90 (.45%), 0-0 playoffs (N/A)
    Rockets/Blazers record w/ Pippen (’98-’03)… 239-139 (.63%), 12-19 playoffs (.39%)

    Just the numbers…

  17. rajbais - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Scottie is never given any credit for being able to play and guard all 5 positions.

    In his days with the Bulls and his final year in Portland he played the point very well and had a very underrated overview of his teammates in the half court.

    In the last 3-peat the Bulls made him the point and he played great!!! Plus, when you look at the 1998 season he only played 44 games due to back issues, but people forget how the Pacers were ahead of the Bulls in the East at one point and then the Bulls got back on track and ended up winning 62 games that year. Indiana ultimately won 59.

  18. charlutes - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    This is so dumb. Stop giving Karl Malone a microphone.

  19. michflaguy - Jun 13, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    I see Karl Malone is the same type of announcer as he was a player: overrated…under-performer…and a total FAIL when it matters most (no titles, but LOTS of chances).
    I’m sure he’d put John Stockton on his team too.
    Right…and I’d take Isaiah Thomas and Zeke would own Stockton AGAIN…just like he did every time they met.

  20. Gordon - Jun 13, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    That wasn’t Karl Malone. That was Jimmy Kimmel doing his impression of Karl Malone making silly comments.

  21. trollaikman8 - Jun 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Hey Karl, Toni Kukoc led those post-Jordan teams in one important category:

    Being clutch at the end of the game (and generally executing a game plan).

  22. shawnc16 - Jun 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    weren’t very good? The went to the eastern conference championship and went to game 7. how is that not very good.

    • bcb1999 - Jun 13, 2012 at 7:47 PM

      And, just for accuracy’s sake, it was the Eastern Conf Semi-finals, not the finals…

  23. bcb1999 - Jun 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Hey, remember that time when Pippen threw a tantrum and wouldn’t even go back in to a playoff game in the last few seconds because that idiot Phil Jackson called the last shot for someone else? And that someone else made the shot and they won? Remember that?

    …good times.

  24. oldmanbasketball - Jun 13, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Pippen? Legend? I was never a big fan of Pippen, and certainly don’t think he qualifies as a “legend”. If Pippen hadn’t played with Jordan, he wouldn’t be remembered as anything other than a good player. And then there was the whole pouting incident where he wouldn’t go into the game for the last play:

    • pudgalvin - Jun 13, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      Yes, there was that. There is also Pippen is the best wing defender of all time, and one of the best defenders in general of all time. Not to mention in the year Jordan retired, he had a Lebron-esque season in which he averaged 22-9-6 while leading a team to 55 wins after the greatest player of all time was replaced with with Randy Myers. So Pippen was more than just a good player.

  25. philtration - Jun 13, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    I don’t care which one Karl Malone liked best.
    I got to see Jordan and Pippen play together and win 6 rings in 8 years.

    THAT really happened and the rest is just a lot of what if, could have, should have nonsense.

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