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YouTube Gold: Scottie Pippen’s Finest

Too often dismissed as Michael Jordan’s sidekick, Pippen was an incredible player in his own right.

Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks
Scottie Pippen taking the ball upcourt

If you watched the documentary about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls called The Last Dance that came out during the pandemic, you’ll know that despite the immense success he had in Chicago, Scottie Pippen was never very happy with the Bulls.

He signed a long-term deal as a young player in order to be sure he could provide for his family only to find out that he was far better than he ever dreamed he would be and was therefore grossly underpaid (despite his stunning talent, the Bulls refused to renegotiate).

He was also unhappy with the documentary, feeling that Jordan was glorified and Pippen, along with the rest of the dynasty Bulls, was slighted, a comet circling Jordan’s sun that occasionally shown bright but never brighter than the megastar that Jordan had become.

Well, yes and no.

What separated Jordan from Pippen and all of his contemporaries except for Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, was his immense will. Pippen’s talent closely approximated Jordan’s, but he could never match his drive, and no one could match his combination of will and supreme talent.

That said, while there is no separating Pippen’s career from Jordan’s - they will always be thought of together - it is impossible to deny Pippen’s stunning talent. Look at this list of great plays during Pippen’s career and you’ll see. Pay attention especially to #2. That takes some special heart to do what he does there.

Pippen will always trail Jordan in popular perception but we bet if you asked MJ who he would least like to have been guarded by, Pippen would be on the top of that list. The guy was truly amazing. Pairing him with Jordan was an act of genius.