Hall-of-Famer and former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen has been quiet of late. A few months ago, Pippen was at the nucleus of a few controversial stories as he beefed with Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and took shots at his former coach Phil Jackson, even calling him a racist.
Pippen’s name is back in circulation again after Bally Sports’ Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson spoke with former Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers star Metta World Peace spoke on Thursday.
Metta World Peace Talks Scottie Pippen
Robinson mentioned to MWP that he’d always felt Pippen was underrated. He specifically pointed out the 1993-94 season when Michael Jordan retired and Pippen had an MVP-caliber campaign.
MWP revealed he’d never really thought much about Pippen’s game beyond his defense, athleticism in transition and passing ability. However, MWP told Robinson, he established a respect for Pippen’s scoring once others pulled his coat tail to the lean and athletic forward’s ability to get buckets.
Take a look at the segment of the interview below:
MWP did say that he looked up to Pippen while he was in the NBA. In fact, MWP also said he’d planned on changing his No. to 33 in honor of Pippen.
That’s high praise considering he’d done the same thing to honor Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman earlier in his career.
The Bulls originally drafted MWP back when his name was Ron Artest in 1999 with the 16th pick. He changed his name in 2011. According to Basketball-Reference, MWP would change his name to The Panda’s Friend in 2014, and to Metta Sandiford-Artest in 2020.
Was Pippen Overshadowed By Michael Jordan?
Robinson brought up an interesting issue and one that has been debated time and again between basketball pundits and the casual fan in Chicago barber shops.
Was Pippen overshadowed by Michael Jordan during his career? As someone who sat front and center, watching nearly every game the two Hall-of-Famers played together, I’d say the answer is no.
Jordan, was and is the greatest player in the history of the game. His 5 league MVPs, 6 NBA Finals MVPs, six championship rings and 10 scoring titles validate the notion. Pippen was one of the best small forwards in history, but clearly not on Jordan’s level as a talent or a competitor.
Jordan was a superior scorer (30.1 ppg to just 16.1), a comparable defender and an exponentially better leader. Pippen is the greatest Robin to a Batman we’ve ever seen, and there should be some respect placed on his name for that, because it is not an easy role.
However, Jordan was the proverbial straw that stirs the drink. Pippen was more of an ice cube. That isn’t meant as an insult, as it is important to note, Jordan never won a playoff series without Pippen.
However, if we were to imagine what Jordan’s career might have looked like without Pippen, and then did the same thing the other way around, you would expect for Jordan to still find a comparable level of greatness, but is anyone as sure Pippen would still win six titles?
It’s a debate we’ll never be able to solve, but it’s fun to discuss.