Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Charles Barkley are three of the greatest players in NBA history. Each guy is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was part of the 1992 United States Dream Team.
Pippen had the honor of playing with Jordan and Barkley during his legendary NBA career. He played 10 seasons with Jordan on the Chicago Bulls and won six championships with His Airness. Meanwhile, Pippen played one season with Barkley on the Houston Rockets in 1998-99 before requesting a trade and getting sent to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Pippen is one of four Bulls players to have his jersey retired. The small forward got his No. 33 retired in 2005 with Jordan, Phil Jackson, and Dennis Rodman in attendance. Barkley wasn’t at the United Center since he never played for the Bulls, but he did record a video for Pippen and made sure to poke fun at Jordan.
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen defeated Charles Barkley in the ’93 Finals
Jordan and Pippen faced Barkley and the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 NBA Finals. Chuck won the 1992-93 MVP Award and led the Suns to the best record in the NBA. However, the Bulls stole homecourt advantage in the series by winning Games 1 and 2 on the road.
Most basketball pundits thought Chicago would sweep Phoenix after taking a 2-0 lead. Barkley, though, had other ideas. He led the Suns to wins in Games 3 and 5 to send the series back to Phoenix. The pressure was now all on the Bulls to win in Game 6 since no team in NBA history had won Game 7 of the Finals on the road.
Jordan scored 33 points in Game 6, while Pippen poured in 23. However, it was John Paxson who hit the biggest shot of the series. He sank a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left to give the Bulls a 99-98 lead. It turned out to be the game-winning shot.
Barkley never got back to the Finals after ’93, while Jordan and Pippen won three more championships in ’96, ’97, and ’98. The Round Mound of Rebound is one of the top players in NBA history to have never won an NBA title, something Jordan teased him about a lot.
While he could never mock MJ for anything basketball-related, Barkley did have some fun at the Bulls icon’s expense in 2005 during Pippen’s jersey retirement ceremony.
Charles Barkley jokingly trolled Michael Jordan at Scottie Pippen’s jersey ceremony
Barkley recorded a video for Pippen from the TNT set in Atlanta. While congratulating Pippen for getting his No. 33 retired by the Bulls, Sir Charles took a playful jab at Jordan.
“Hey Scottie, congratulations. It’s been an honor and a pleasure to play with you on the Dream Team and play against you,” Barkley said. “You’re one of the greatest players in NBA history, and I just want to congratulate you, and I just think that Michael Jordan should be kissing the ground that you walk on because you helped them win all those championships and did all the heavy lifting.”
The United Center crowd loved that last line from Barkley. It was a great way to his end tribute to Pippen, who received kind words from Jordan.
“When we went into battle, I knew I had someone to watch my back,” Jordan said. “Scottie Pippen, he’s my guy. I love him like a brother. He pushed me to be the best basketball player every day in practice, and I pushed him to be the best Scottie Pippen he could be.”
Taking a look at the three Hall of Famers’ stats
Jordan, Pippen, and Barkley were all first-ballot Hall of Famers. They will always be linked to each other since they were teammates on the Dream Team and won the Gold medal at the ’92 Olympics.
With the Bulls and Washington Wizards, Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. Meanwhile, Pippen put up 16.1 points, 6.4 boards, and 5.2 assists per game with the Bulls, Rockets, and Blazers.
Barkley played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Suns, and Rockets. He averaged 22.1 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006. Jordan made it in 2009, while Pippen was enshrined in 2010.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.