Hall of Famer Michael Jordan put forth an illustrious career that saw him achieve a significant amount of success. Jordan gathered his footing with his place as arguably the greatest player in NBA history during his title run during the 1990s. That saw him elevate to rarified air with his legacy reaching legendary heights to what it has become over the last couple of decades. However, it was a process that Jordan has voiced that he believes fellow Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen played an equal part to who he became.
Michael Jordan’s career
Jordan had put forth an incredible NBA career that saw him achieve historic feats along the way.
He earned numerous accolades such as 14 All-Star Game nominations, 10 All-NBA First Team nods, a Defensive Player of the Year, five regular-season MVP awards, and nine All-Defensive First Team nods. However, it was his success in the playoffs that took his legacy up to another significant notch.
Jordan had established himself as a tremendous all-around talent both sides of the floor, but it was championship success that lifted him another level. He had become a powerhouse in the playoffs in the 1990s that saw him earn sixth NBA titles in eight years, where he won Finals MVP in each instance.
That saw him excel when the stakes were the highest averaging an NBA-record 33.4 points in the postseason. That included feats such as averaging 41.0 points against the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 Finals and scoring at least 40 points four times during that span. It was a stretch in his career that has helped truly define him as a player and elevate him firmly into being regarded as the greatest player in league history.
However, it was a part of Jordan’s career that he feels Pippen played a massive role in shaping it.
Michael Jordan gives Scottie Pippen credit
Before the arrival of Pippen, Jordan had many struggles breaking through in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
He guided them into a constant in the postseason, but couldn’t gather the edge to push their way to title contention. Jordan had already established himself as arguably the best player in the league, but there wasn’t enough help around him to take that next step.
The addition of Pippen gave the Bulls a strong secondary option next to their star guard that saw the former Central Arkansas product thrust his way into stardom in his own right. He quickly developed into a phenomenal all-around talent that was a significant factor on both ends of the floor. It’s something that didn’t go unnoticed by Jordan as he voiced in the second part of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary that Pippen’s name should always be tied to his.
“He helped me so much in the way I approached the game, the way I played the game. Whenever they speak Michael Jordan, they should speak Scottie Pippen. When everybody says, well, I won all these championships, but I didn’t win without Scottie Pippen. That’s why I consider him my best teammate of all time.”
Jordan knows how much influence and impact that Pippen had on his career that saw him push himself to take his game to greater heights. There’s no question that Pippen played a pivotal part in shaping Jordan’s legacy.
Scottie Pippen remains an overlooked star
Throughout the bulk of his career with the Bulls, Pippen was often overlooked by Jordan’s vast stardom.
That may not have been something lost on his teammates; he didn’t receive the proper recognition as an all-time that his talent deserved. During Chicago’s run in the 1990s, he earned all seven of his All-Star selections, three All-NBA First Team nods, two All-NBA Second Team nominations, two All-NBA Third Team selections, seven All-Defensive First Team nods, and an Al-Defensive First nomination.
Pippen was a game-changing talent throughout, and the “The Last Dance” documentary will only bring more light to the underappreciated talent he was.