Scottie Pippen made headlines a few weeks ago when he called Michael Jordan “selfish” for playing baseball and admitted he hasn’t talked to him since The Last Dance docuseries came out last summer. The seven-time All-Star clearly hasn’t been shy to speak his mind while promoting his new book and bourbon.
However, it’s easy to forget that Pippen, who used to be considered shy and humble, emotionally thanked Jordan during arguably the greatest achievement of his life.
Scottie Pippen thanked Michael Jordan during his Hall of Fame speech
Pippen was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, one year after Jordan was enshrined. The legendary Chicago Bulls small forward asked MJ to present him into the Hall of Fame and delivered a powerful and emotional speech about what His Airness meant to him.
“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 mines. Thank you for being the best teammate. I will always cherish that experience and will cherish our relationship forever. Thank you.”
Pippen and Jordan are considered by many to be the greatest duo in NBA history. After all, they had tremendous success together on the Bulls during the ’90s.
Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan dominated the NBA in the ’90s
Pippen and Jordan won 514 games together. After finally getting past the Detroit Pistons in 1991, the Bulls won six championships in an eight-year span behind their two superstars and never lost in the Finals.
Jordan is widely regarded as the best player in NBA history. However, it’s worth mentioning that he never won a playoff series until Pippen came to Chicago. Every scorer needs a No. 2 guy who does the dirty work, and Pippen was great at it.
Behind Pippen and Jordan, the Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Seattle SuperSonics, and Utah Jazz in the Finals. Jordan won all six Finals MVPs, but Pippen’s all-around play was critical to the Bulls’ success.
Given how successful they were with the Bulls, it has been strange to see Pippen take shots at Jordan while promoting his book. The memoir, called Unguarded, is set to be released on November 16, 2021, and will discuss a number of topics.
Small forward is ready to tell his side of the story
In his memoir, Pippen will discuss how he cringed at being labeled Jordan’s sidekick and why he was the real leader of the Bulls locker room. The former swingman will also give pointed and transparent takes on Phil Jackson, Isiah Thomas, and Dennis Rodman.
Pippen is the only player to win an NBA championship and Olympic gold medal twice in the same year. However, he was always overshadowed by Jordan, and it may have rubbed him the wrong way more than he led on.
The Last Dance was a huge hit last summer, and it showed the greatness of Jordan. Now, Pippen is ready for the spotlight with his book.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.