Skip to main content

Chuck Daly on what made Scottie Pippen the best player on the original 'Dream Team'

Chuck Daly was able to witness firsthand what made Scottie Pippen such a versatile and valuable player for the original Dream Team
Chuck Daly on why Scottie Pippen was the best player on the original 'Dream Team' during the 1992 Olympics

Pippen was already the best wing player in the NBA during those years, and his versatility on the court was almost unmatched

The original ‘Dream Team‘ is still one of the most dominant basketball teams ever assembled. A team featuring multiple HOF players won the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona in a dominant fashion, and their impact on the game of basketball was evident when the tournament started. Several members on that team said that being a part of that squad felt like they were rock stars with all the publicity they were getting, but most media focused on none other than Michael Jordan.

The biggest surprise in Barcelona

After winning two straight NBA championships, Jordan became the new face of the NBA and the best player in the league. He was the leader of that Olympic team that already featured many legendary players. Still, one player, according to Chuck Daly, their head coach, showcased his skillset the most during the tournament, which was a pleasant surprise for everyone when you consider how stacked that team was. It was none other than Jordan’s teammate Scottie Pippen.

Pippen was already the best wing player in the NBA during those years, and his versatility on the court was almost unmatched. Daly knew how good Pippen was because he faced the Chicago Bulls multiple times when coaching the Detroit Pistons. However, when the Dream Team assembled and started playing in games, Daly was surprised because he witnessed firsthand Pippen’s brilliance on both ends of the floor.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

You never really know how good a player is until you coach him, but Pippen was the great surprise in Barcelona - the confidence with which he played and the absolutely complete nature of his game on offense and defense. No one else really expected it.

Chuck Daly

The best player on the Dream Team

If you look at the stats from the tournament, you probably wouldn’t understand why Daly thought Pippen was the best player on that team. Pippen only leads the team in assists averaging six per game. On top of that, he scored 9 points per game to go along with three steals. The stats don’t tell the whole story. Still, throughout the tournament, it was clear Pippen was more than capable of taking on the most difficult defensive assignments while at the same time contributing in significant ways on offense as well.

I know Michael's the best player, but Pippen was the best player on that team.

Chuck Daly

Pippen’s versatility characterized how he played the game, which was crucial to Bull’s success during the ’90s. Jordan was the best player, but if it wasn’t for Pippen and his ability to guard the best guards and forwards on the opposing teams while still giving the Bulls 20 points per game, it’s hard to imagine them winning as many championships as they did. Pippen is often overlooked in debates on the best wing players in the history of the NBA, but you would immediately understand why Daly held him in such high regard if you watched some of his games in his prime.

Bol Bol

Paolo Banchero compares Bol Bol to highly-touted prospect Victor Wembanyama - “Bol’s a freak of nature”

Banchero tried to avoid comparing Bol to Victor Wembanyama, but outlined the similarities between the star prospect and the new member of Orlando's frontcourt

Toronto Raptors

Fred VanVleet believes the Toronto Raptors would have three-peated had Kawhi Leonard stayed with the team

VanVleet said that had Leonard stuck with Toronto, the Raptors could have three-peated by winning the 2020 and 2021 NBA Finals

Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas playing against the New York Knicks

"Everybody wants to play in the Garden, besides the Knicks" — Gilbert Arenas goes in on New York Knicks fans

Gilbert Arenas breaks down why superstars don't want to play for the New York Knicks

Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley

"Patrick Beverley in the playoffs is an issue" — Iman Shumpert speaks on Patrick Beverley's value to the Los Angeles Lakers

Not everyone can see it right now, but Shumpert understands the importance of Pat Bev to the Lakers.


"It was an unmitigated slaughter calling out Shaq on everything" — Kobe Bryant savagely criticized Shaquille O'Neal in an unreleased statement

Sports Illustrated's Howard Beck talked about at the unpublished Kobe interview where he apparently ripped Shaq like never before.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

"He’ll give you the shirt off his back" — Juwan Howard's Michael Jordan story reveals the other side of Black Jesus

Juwan Howard expected to get trash-talked to death upon seeing Michael Jordan in Los Angeles.

Boston Celtics legend Kevin Mchale, Marcus Smart, Blake Griffin, Grant Williams, Malcom Brogdon

“The team honestly is stronger than any one coach” — Kevin McHale explains why Ime Udoka's scandal did not crumble the Boston Celtics

Celtics legend Kevin McHale admitted that he thought Udoka's suspension would significantly affect the Boston Celtics