In an interview with San Francisco Chronicle, former NBA player and multiple All-Star Chris Mullin talked about his career and specifically some topics from ‘The Last Dance‘ documentary. Mullin is one of those underrated players from the ’90s, and as a former member of the original ‘Dream Team‘, he had the opportunity to get to know both Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan throughout the years. He faced them multiple times in the regular season when he was a member of the Golden State Warriors and then later in the playoffs as a member of the Indiana Pacers.
Mullin believes that fans don’t give enough recognition to Pippen, whom he considers one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Pippen was known as a truly versatile player capable of scoring, passing, rebounding while at the same locking down the best players on the opposing teams. That was his trademark throughout his career, and Mullin considered him the best perimeter defender still to this day.
Chris Mullin, via San Francisco Chronicle
Scottie Pippen, to me, is one of the greatest players of all time. He plays with so much grace and ease. He does everything on the basketball court to perfection — defense, offense, rebounding, assists, scoring. He was an incredible athlete, and his defense was, I think, at that point in time in his career, probably what made him the best perimeter defender.
In the documentary, there is a famous sentence by Jordan, who said, ‘Whenever they speak Michael Jordan, they should speak Scottie Pippen. That itself is proof how much Jordan admired Pippen, and according to Mullin, who played against both of them for years, they were indeed a unique duo. Their tenacity on defense and the fact that they won many of their games playing hard defense is something that often gets overlooked. They complemented each other exceptionally well both on and off the court, which was one of the main reasons for Bull’s tremendous success in the ’90s.
He and Michael together were just an incredible, tenacious, relentless duo. They won a lot of their games with their defense. A lot of those games, they won in the low 80s. They were just able to lock teams down and could play any style they needed to win the game. Scottie, he may be underrated with people that just watch and talk about the game. But if you played with him, against him or prepared as a coach to play against a team that Scottie Pippen was on, there’s no way you would underrate him in any facet of the game.Chris Mullin, via San Francisco Chronicle
Even though the documentary presented Pippen in a positive light, it seems he still didn’t get the respect he deserves. True fans know how good Pippen was in his prime years, but it seems former players like Mullin who had to go against Pippen on both ends of the floor appreciate him much more. His skill set was unique, and even today, we haven’t seen many players who are so gifted and versatile in every aspect of the game.