Per a million places, but I’ll link this one.
Scottie Pippen is being inducted into the basketball hall of fame. I’ll spare you my “the basketball hall of fame sucks, we should listen to Bill Simmons” rant in order to give you another one.
Can we please make this all about Scottie. I still cringe at the night they retired Pippen’s jersey at the United Center and all the speeches focused on some other dude who played with the Bulls at the same time.
This is Pippen’s honor, it’s Pippen’s time. It’s time to talk about Pippen, and how great he was. Not how great a sidekick he was, but how great he was.
Scottie Pippen is perhaps the best perimeter defender in the history of the NBA. He was a legitimate MVP candidate, and the worst call in the history of the NBA away from having a legit shot at winning a title in the NBA as the best player on his team (seriously, how Hugh Hollins can travel in Chicago without being assassinated is really one of life’s mysteries isn’t it).
Scottie’s a phenomenal leader. Any book chronicling the Pippen era of the Bulls points out how he was the guy everyone on the team looked up to for encouragement. In fact, Bill Wennington noted in his book that if he had the first pick in a scrimmage at Bulls practice that he’d use it on Scottie because of how much his leadership could pick up a team.
Scottie made other people better. He didn’t carry other people with his greatness, but his game emphasized the team concept and created greatness in others. Other players legitimately played better because of Scottie and not simply because they had less defensive attention on them. He had a true point guard mentality and game in a small forward body.
Congratulations Scottie, you deserve it.