Despite having a HOF career, Scottie Pippen is still one of the most underrated players in NBA history. Pippen presented the perfect sidekick to Michael Jordan on the Bulls road to six championships. No matter how dominant Jordan was, he could have never done it without Pippen, an instrumental part for the Bulls with his incredible versatility on both ends of the floor.
After Jordan’s first retirement, Pippen finally had the chance of leading the Bulls and showing everyone he could do it without Jordan. In two seasons without Jordan, Pippen led the Bulls in almost every statistical category, and on top of that, showcased leadership people never expected from him.
Another NBA legend David Robinson, who played with Pippen on the original Dream Team, was able to see his evolution after Jordan retired the first time. Robinson saw first-hand Pippen’s development and how he grew into his new role, asserting himself as one of the best players in the league and a true leader of his squad.
Here’s a guy who has grown into superstardom. Not every player is born with the talent of Michael Jordan. So when Michael left, the Bulls asked Scottie to step it up, and he did. He always had the physical tools, but mentally he grew so much those two seasons. It wasn’t enough just to be Michael’s sidekick anymore, he couldn’t have an off night, and it was tremendous how we handled it. He really showed me something. I almost saw an “MJ” clone in his intensity and ability to focus.David Robinson
Robinson describing Pippen as Jordan’s clone is very accurate because of their impact on both ends of the floor. Jordan was a better scorer, but you can argue Pippen did everything else equally good or even better to a certain degree. During those two years, his growth was detrimental for their second three-peat, in which they proved they are the best one-two punch in NBA history.