Despite being one of the most versatile two-way players in NBA history, Scottie Pippen was always considered as Michael Jordan’s sidekick. His impact and importance for those championships the Bulls won are unmeasurable, but the focus around the Bulls was mostly around Jordan. Pippen had the opportunity to showcase his leadership when Jordan first retired back in 1993. During those two seasons, Scottie showed his full potential leading the Bulls to the playoffs. He was by far the best player on that team, leading the team in almost every statistical category and imposing his impact on the game on a nightly basis.
After Jordan announced he is coming back from retirement, the media shifted all their focus back on Jordan. In an interview, a few hours before making his NBA come back, Jordan talked about the growth Pippen went through during his absence and how it made him a much better player. Jordan said he is 100 percent sure that the Bulls will win the championship that season and would not be back if he didn’t believe it was the case.
“I think he has a better understanding in terms of the expectations that a player of his caliber and my caliber have to live up to a day in and day out. I think that is one thing that really has made him that much better as a player. It was 18 months that I was away, and he had to deal with some of those similarities that I had to deal with when I was here. So I think mentally he becomes a little more stronger and can deal with different things a certain way. He is competitive, and every day he needs to find different challenges so that he can maintain that consistency.”
Jordan also explains the difference between good and great players saying great players deliver on a nightly basis while good players lack such quality. He believes Scottie also knows the difference between the two, and he proved throughout the seasons the Bulls can count on him to deliver whatever is needed for them to win games.
“I think that is one thing about the great players and the good players. Great players do it every night, and good players do it once in a while. I think Scottie understands the difference between the two, and he certainly has the talent and the credibility to do both.”