Michael Jordan Doesn’t Believe NBA Will See Another Tandem Like Him and Scottie Pippen: ‘I Don’t Think You’re Gonna Have 2 Players Like That Ever Again’
There have been several great duos in NBA history. However, no duo went undefeated in the Finals like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen did with the Chicago Bulls.
Jordan and Pippen will forever be linked after all their success with the Bulls. The Hall of Famers grew together and made each other better, which is why Jordan doesn’t believe the NBA will see another tandem like him and Pippen again.
Michael Jordan on him and Scottie Pippen: “I don’t think you’re gonna have two players like that ever again”
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal won three championships together on the Los Angeles Lakers. However, they had beef and won titles without each other. Meanwhile, Jordan and Pippen never butted heads on the Bulls and won six rings in eight years. They also didn’t have playoff success without each other, which is why Jordan thinks he and Pippen are a one-of-a-kind duo.
“Scottie Pippen pushed me,” Jordan told Ahmad Rashad in 2013. “It was big brother, little brother scenario. I knew the hard work that it took to get to that level, and if we wanted to get from point A to point B to point Z, then I’mma have to pull this guy along. We gonna have to find a way to co-exist. We gonna have to find a way to challenge each other. So it was that, me pulling him along to where OK, if we’re gonna play this game, we’re gonna have to get like this, and the next thing you know, it’s a tandem. I don’t think you’re gonna have two players like that ever again that grew and became more successful together, and success started to circle themselves around the two of them.”
Jordan never got out of the first round of the playoffs until Pippen got to the Bulls. Although MJ and Pip got eliminated by the Detroit Pistons in the 1988, 1989, and 1990 playoffs, they finally got past their rivals in 1991 and never looked back.
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were kings of the ’90s
The Bulls swept the Pistons in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals. That was a landmark moment in the NBA since Detroit passed the torch to Chicago.
Behind Jordan and Pippen, the Bulls won championships in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 1998. Not only did Chicago go undefeated in the Finals, but it never had to play in a Game 7. Since anything can happen in a do-or-die game, Jordan and Pippen always made sure they finished teams off before Game 7.
Jordan and Pippen appeared in 691 regular-season games together. The Bulls went 514-177 and only lost four playoff series during the Jordan-Pippen era. Jordan averaged 31.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists with Pippen. Meanwhile, Pippen put up 17.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists with Jordan.
Before ESPN’s The Last Dance docuseries came out in April 2020, Jordan and Pippen always talked glowingly about each other. However, the latter was deeply upset at the former over how the docuseries turned out and has taken several shots at him.
Bulls legends may not talk anymore
Jordan heard through the grapevine that Pippen was upset at him over The Last Dance. The Bulls legends briefly talked and went their separate ways. However, one of them kept the kettle boiling.
Pippen wrote a memoir called Unguarded. In the book, he takes several harsh shots at Jordan. The two most revealing quotes were when Pippen said Jordan “ruined basketball” and was “condescending” in The Last Dance. The Arkansas native also wrote that he never offered Air Jordan condolences after his father was murdered in 1993. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, who has a relationship with Jordan, believes His Airness will never speak to Pippen again because of that comment.
Jordan and Pippen’s run with the Bulls will always be legendary. However, it’s undoubtedly been sad to watch their relationship deteriorate ever since The Last Dance came out.