Michael Jordan called Scottie Pippen his best teammate of all time in ESPN’s The Last Dance docuseries. The Chicago Bulls legends dominated the ’90s together, winning six championships in an eight-year span and going undefeated in the Finals.
Not only were Jordan and Pippen nearly unstoppable as a basketball duo, but they were also close off the court, so much so that MJ gave Pip an incredible Christmas gift in 1997 to show how much he appreciated him.
Michael Jordan gave Scottie Pippen his red Ferrari
According to Chicago reporter Melissa Isaacson, Jordan gave Pippen his red Ferrari as a Christmas gift in 1997 since he knew how much the small forward wanted it. Initially, His Airness planned to give Pippen a box of cigars, but he reconsidered after seeing the gift his partner in crime got him.
“For the Christmas of ’97, Pippen had an earring made for Jordan — a diamond-encrusted replica of the NBA championship trophy,” Isaacson wrote in 2010 for ESPN. “Jordan, who had planned to give Pippen a box of cigars, reconsidered and instead gave him his red Ferrari, which Pippen had long admired: ‘He wanted it so bad,’ said Jordan. It wasn’t a double locker, but it would do.”
It was certainly a nice gesture from Jordan to give Pippen such a fancy and expensive car as a Christmas gift. The two superstars clearly had a strong bond during their playing days with the Bulls, and they didn’t forget to acknowledge each other years after their partnership ended when they entered basketball immortality.
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen talked about each other in their Hall of Fame speeches
When Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, he talked about Pippen to begin his speech.
“And all the videos,” Jordan said to the crowd. “You never just saw me. You saw Scottie Pippen. Every championship I won.”
Pippen’s induction ceremony into the Hall of Fame was in 2010, and he asked Jordan to present him. The seven-time All-Star spoke about Black Jesus for nearly a minute, and it was pretty powerful.
“What an honor it is for me as a basketball player to have the all-time great presenting me here tonight,” Pippen said. “It was so valuable to me as a player to see someone who had the same desire, determination, passion, and love for the game. Who knew that No. 23 would be here 23 years later, presenting me into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. MJ, you have touched so many people’s lives, but none like mine. Thank you for being the best teammate. I will always cherish that experience, and I will cherish our relationship forever. Thank you.”
It’s easy to forget that Jordan never won a playoff series with the Bulls until Pippen arrived in 1987. Superman has always been one of Pippen’s biggest supporters since he didn’t get out of the first round of the postseason or win a championship without the Arkansas native by his side.
MJ on Pip: I think he is the ultimate team player
There may not have been a larger Pippen fan during the ’90s than Jordan, who told SLAM Magazine in 1996 that he would actually pay money to see the do-it-all swingman play basketball.
“I would pay to see Scottie Pippen play. I think he is the ultimate team player,” Jordan said. “A guy that can score, pass, rebound, and play defense. I also think he’s great to have in the locker room. We have been closer this year, and I have really enjoyed that. Scottie does a lot of things on the court that amaze me. He moves really well and has those long arms and legs, and basically has no weaknesses. Also, he’s matured and is confident of his role on this team. At times, he amazes me.”
Both Jordan and Pippen got their numbers retired by the Bulls. Nos. 23 and 33 hang in the rafters at the United Center and will always be celebrated numbers in Chicago.
Jordan may have been a demanding teammate and crossed the line several times, but he showed off his soft side in 1997 by giving the greatest player he ever played with his shiny Ferrari.
RELATED: Michael Jordan Challenged Teammates to Get Better or Get Out, While Scottie Pippen Was the Exact Opposite: ‘If Scottie Passed to You and You Missed, He Would Pat You on the Head, Whereas Michael Would Look at You Like You Gotta Make the Fu***** Shot’