Scottie Pippen Says Michael Jordan May Have Cost Him an NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award

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Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen is considered by most to be one of the greatest wing defenders in NBA history. During his 17-year career with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, and Portland Trail Blazers, the six-time NBA champion was selected to one of the three All-Defensive teams on 10 occasions.

However, that apparently wasn’t good enough for the Hall of Famer. Pippen, who’s still promoting his controversial autobiography released months ago, stated in his latest rant that he should have won at least one NBA Defensive Player of the Year trophy. Okay, he may not have come out and directly said that, but it was strongly implied.

And in a move that should surprise nobody, he brought Michael Jordan into it.

But only slightly this time.

Scottie Pippen says the media was too busy watching Michael Jordan to vote him as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year

As I’m sure most reading this know, Pippen released an autobiography late last year in which he made some controversial comments about Jordan, his time with the Bulls, and several other topics. He also made the rounds in the media and made plenty more controversial comments about Jordan, his time with the Bulls, and several other topics.

As the book’s been out for several months now, the frenzy has died down, but as Pippen is now promoting Unguarded for its release in France, we’ve got some new comments from the seven-time NBA All-Star to dissect.

And these particular comments are directed at the media for never naming him the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, apparently because they were too busy paying attention to No. 23 (h/t TrashTalkProduction).

“I think they were too busy watching Michael [Jordan].”

Scottie Pippen

Now, this was right at the start of the 20-minute interview, and Scottie had a slight smile on his face when he said it, perhaps trying to get across that he was joking.

But given everything else he’s said about Jordan over the last six to nine months, one almost must assume he wasn’t.

Pippen made more All-Defensive teams than Jordan and Dennis Rodman, but each of them won DPOY

Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen | Carlos Tischler/Getty Images

So if Pippen seriously feels he was slighted in never having won Defensive Player of the Year, perhaps he can at least take solace in the fact that he was named to an All-Defensive team more times than Jordan.

As mentioned, Pippen was a 10-time All-Defensive selection during his illustrious career. He was named to the First Team for eight consecutive seasons from 1992 to 1999, the first seven times with the Bulls and the eighth in his lone season with the Rockets. Scottie was also twice named to the Second Team, the first time in 1991 with Chicago and again in 2000, his first season in Portland.

Jordan was a nine-time All-Defensive selection, earning the honor from 1988 to 1993 and 1996 to 1998. However, he was always a First Team selection and owns a Defensive Player of the Year trophy, which he won in 1988, the same season he also won his first NBA MVP. That was also Pippen’s rookie season.

And it may surprise some to know that Pippen also has more All-Defensive selections than Dennis Rodman, who was an eight-time selection (seven First Team, one Second Team) during his 14-year career. But like Jordan and unlike Pippen, Rodman owns a Defensive Player of the Year trophy. He actually owns two, winning the award in consecutive seasons in 1990 and 1991.

Scottie did once finish third in the DPOY voting and even earned seven first-place votes. Now, there were 101 first-place votes at that time, so he didn’t really even come close in overall points. Pippen earned 390 overall points, 340 behind the second-place finisher, David Robinson (24 first-place votes), and 499 behind the winner, Hakeem Olajuwon (66 first-place votes).

And what year was that, you ask? That would be the 1993-1994 season — the one Jordan sat out following his father’s death. Hey, at least Pippen won the NBA All-Star Game MVP award that year.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference

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