Scottie Pippen played with numerous HOF players in his illustrious career, and in a recent interview for GQ Sports, he shared how Kobe Bryant is the guy he wished he could have been teammates with during his career.
Throughout his long and immensely successful career in the NBA, Scottie Pippen played with several HOF players, not just during his time with the Chicago Bulls. Scottie was later on the Houston Rockets with Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon, and after that on the Portland Trail Blazers squad that was loaded with talented players with whom he almost made it to the NBA Finals in 2000.
However, when talking about the players he wished to play together with in his career, Pippen mentions Kobe Bryant, with whom he had quite a few battles in the later stages of his career when he played in the western conference. He admits Michael Jordan is the best teammate he ever had, but Kobe Bryant was the one that intrigued him so much that he wanted to see what it would be like to be his teammate.
"The best teammate I ever played with is Michael Jordan, and there is no doubt about it, and I am going to say that all day every day. The one teammate I wish I could have played with and I didn't play with was Kobe Bryant."
Kobe was incredibly studios about the game of basketball and wanted to learn as much as possible from the players he looked up to in the NBA. Scottie was one of those guys, and Kobe admired his skill set on defense because he is still to this day regarded as one of the best perimeter defenders of all time. Kobe often called up Scottie to ask him for advice and pick his brain on how to defend certain players and learn about the best approaches in certain situations on defense.
"Kobe really idolized the way I played the game, the way I defended. He started to call me after I retired and to ask questions and about different situations, how would you guard certain people, what kind of footwork, what do you do in this situation? Just picking your brain to enhance his ability out on the basketball court. He was a great student of the game, and he would ask me questions about how I would guard Michael in these situations, this and that. He was just trying to improve his craft."
It's safe to say Kobe and Pippen on the same team would work perfectly because Kobe was the closest thing to Jordan, so there is no question his skillset would go hand in hand with Pippen's. Even in the latter stages of his career, Pippen was still solid on both ends of the floor, and Kobe was an absolute beast on offense but an underrated defender in his own right. Obviously, that never happened, but it would have been fun to see these two on the same team together, especially on the Lakers, which would give Pippen a chance to win even more championships to add to his already impressive resume.