Monday, February 13, 2012

25: Scottie Pippen

"Pip" is the second greatest defender I have ever seen, being able to guard 3 or more positions successfully, Pippen seemed to always guard the other team's key component and always win. Scottie Pippen had defensive instincts only possessed by a couple and physical gifts possessed by even fewer, Scottie was like a wild animal, just devouring offensive players. Scottie Pippen had a huge impact on the game, possibly becoming the most all around player of the 90's and maybe even ever, Scottie Pippen was even considered the best guard on "The Dream Team" over Magic, The Glide, Stockton and MJ, that's pretty good.

Scottie Pippen could have been even higher on our list if not for his stupidity in the '95 NBA Finals, if you don't remember what happened here's an example, Scottie benched himself for the last play of the game because Phil Jackson set a play with Tony Kukoc finishing, which he shouldn't have, especially after Scottie took the Chicago Bulls to 55 wins without Michael Jordan, so I guess his career makes up for one stupid mistake.

Scottie Pippen may be the biggest mistake in Seattle Sonics history (They traded the pick that he became to the Bulls), Had the Sonics drafted Scottie and still ended up with Payton and Kemp they would have had around six rings and Jordan would have closer to one! Pippen was a key contributor on all of Jordan's teams and Jordan wasn't winning without him (unless he brought another couple stars in). Scottie leaving in '99 was the final straw in MJ's retirement plans, Jordan was not trying to win again without Pippen, especially when they won the last ring on adrenaline.

Scottie Pippen proved to us one last time when he moved to Portland and led an unorthodox Portland Trailblazers team within a hair of an NBA championship that he was a superstar all by himself. Many people took this as another reason you couldn't win a ring with him as your best guy, and that wold put him with many greats but I think he could have done it if not for the shaky calls and he is in a category of players who could have won a championship as the best player if not for bad luck.

When you think of Scottie Pippen the first thing that should pop into your head is the fact that he was a huge part in Jordan becoming the greatest player ever, was tougher than nails, had enough rings to fill one hand and have change, and redefined the small forward to the extent that kids weren't just trying to be offensive masteerpieces like Bernard, Gervin and Bird they were trying to be defensive specialists too. Scottie Pippen locked up, scored on and just plain did everything to other teams, all day and all night, he even left some players thinking WTF?

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