Scottie Pippen is still to this day one of the most underrated players in NBA history, even though the younger fans were able to see how great he was during ‘The Last Dance‘ documentary. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of true NBA and Chicago Bulls fans recognize the worth Pippen had during all those championship runs, and, indeed, Jordan couldn’t have done it without him. However, it always seems Pippen is somewhat underappreciated. The majority of younger fans don’t necessarily know how dominant he was on both ends of the floor and what he meant for his teams’ success.
Other NBA coaches, executives, and people from the NBA that coached Pippen or saw him play up and close know what he brought to the team from a basketball and personal perspective. Bulls assistant coach and one of the creators of the triangle offense, Tex Winter, worked with Pippen for years and, as time went by, saw firsthand what type of impact he had on the Bulls, especially during those playoffs and championship runs. What fascinated Tex the most was Pippen’s attitude towards his team, in which individual performance meant almost nothing to him if it meant the team would win.
Scottie is a true professional. He could care less how many points he scores, which is unusual for a guy of his status and a guy who has scored the way he has at times. Scottie has grown in this respect. He doesn’t let little things bother him. He’s matured, and he realizes what he can do and what he should do.Tex Winter, via Chicago Tribune
Lenny Wilkins is another basketball professional who was impressed with Pippen’s contribution on both ends of the floor. He coached him in the 1996 Olympics, in which Pippen asserted himself as one of the true leaders of that squad that eventually won the gold medal. For Wilkins, Pippen is so special that he put his name first on the list of potential players that would play that summer when assembling the team.
He makes everyone else better. That’s the mark of a truly great player. A number of guys can step it up as the game goes on. He can do it in an instant. I feel really good when he’s on the floor. He was the first name I put on the board when we were selecting a team.Lenny Wilkins
Throughout his career, Pippen displayed tremendous athleticism that perfectly matched his incredible basketball IQ. His versatility was elite, and the way he impacted the games was pretty spectacular to watch. He could score, rebound, assist, block shots, and lock down the opposing’s best perimeter players. Pippen was truly a marvel and a unique type of talent that was rarely seen in NBA history. He definitely deserves more respect, and younger players should definitely look to him if they want to learn how to impact the game in more ways than just scoring.