Scottie Pippen Won 6 NBA Championships, but Being Part of the Dream Team Was His Greatest Achievement: ‘Representing the United States on a Global Stage With Guys Like Michael, Magic, and Larry Was Beyond Special’
Scottie Pippen had an incredible basketball career. He won six championships with the Chicago Bulls and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. The seven-time All-Star was recently named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, a spectacular honor for a guy who grew up in poverty in Hamburg, Arkansas.
Pippen achieved a lot during his playing career. He helped the Bulls win six titles during an eight-year span and never lost in the NBA Finals. His greatest achievement, though, took place in 1992.
Scottie Pippen: Being part of the Dream Team was my greatest achievement
Pippen told Vanity Fair that being on the Dream Team and winning the 1992 gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics is his greatest achievement.
“Being a member of the 1992 Dream Team,” Pippen said. “Representing the United States on a global stage with guys like Michael (Jordan), Magic (Johnson), and Larry (Bird) was beyond special.”
The Dream Team defeated Croatia in the gold medal game to cap off an 8-0 record in the Olympics. Pippen averaged 9.0 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists while shooting 59.6% from the field and led the Dream Team in assists.
Pippen was one of the best all-around players in the world when Rod Thorn put the Dream Team together. However, the Bulls superstar was surprised he was chosen.
Scottie Pippen: “I didn’t feel like that I deserve to be called”
In the 2012 Dream Team documentary, Pippen said he didn’t think he deserved to be invited to play for the team. However, he certainly wasn’t going to tell Thorn that.
“I didn’t feel like that I deserve to be called,” Pippen said in the documentary. “But I truly wasn’t going to tell them that.”
Pippen, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson didn’t want Isiah Thomas on the team since they didn’t like the Detroit Pistons star. Thorn had no choice but not to select Zeke since he needed Pip, MJ, and Magic. In his memoir, Unguarded, Pippen said there was no way Thomas could have been on the Dream Team.
“Looking at his numbers, it would be difficult to argue Isiah wasn’t deserving,” Pippen wrote. “Putting a basketball team together is about more than numbers. It is about chemistry, and with Isiah on the Dream Team, the chemistry would have been horrible.”
The Dream Team is arguably the best basketball roster ever assembled. However, it’s not the only team Pippen won a gold medal with.
Bulls legend won gold medal again in 1996
Team USA won the 1996 gold medal in Atlanta, Georgia. Pippen averaged 11.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 22.0 minutes a night and shot 52.1% from the field. Charles Barkley, who led the Dream Team in scoring, also led the 1996 squad in points per game.
Pippen is the only person to win an NBA championship and Olympic gold medal twice in the same year. He did it in 1992 and 1996. The Bulls icon finished his NBA career with averages of 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists. Chicago retired Pippen’s No. 33 jersey, and it hangs in the rafters at the United Center next to Jordan’s No. 23.