Skip to main content

Julius Erving explains what made Pippen better than Jordan and why that was a good thing for the Bulls

jordan pippen (1) (1)

It's almost impossible to emphasize the importance of Scottie Pippen in all the success the Chicago Bulls had in the '90s. Pippen was capable of doing several things on the court exceptionally well, and this was a virtue that followed him throughout his career. Despite being able to score 20 points on every team on a nightly basis, assist, lead the fast break, Pippen is considered one of the best and versatile defenders of all-time.

Defensively Pippen was always in the right place at the right time, locking down the best players on the opposing teams. In one instance, Julius Erving said Pippen did more defensively for the team than Jordan did, but that gave them an advantage against other teams because they greatly complemented each other.

"There are certain things that Pippen does for that team that Michael doesn't do. Definitely defensively. I think offensively, he's always conscious of getting the other guys involved. Not to take anything away from Michael, but I think Scottie is just more cognizant of the total package, and that makes them complement each other really well."

Julius Erving

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Pippen's former teammate John Paxson said Pippen's presence on the court was of extreme importance. Everybody knew Pippen has their back on defense, and because of his ability to cover a lot of ground, if someone made a mistake, Pippen was there to jump in and make a great defensive play.

"The subtle things he did so well, defensively helping his teammates, recovering out to guys offensively, making plays being unselfish…those are things that teammates always recognize and noticed. You always felt like Scottie had your back. If you made a mistake somewhere on the floor, he was going to try and cover up for you."

John Paxson

Pippen remains somewhat underappreciated among NBA fans today, especially the younger ones who haven't had the opportunity to see him play. He got some recognition in The Last Dance documentary, but it only showed a glimpse of his greatness and importance for the Bulls on their route to six championships. However, other NBA greats who understand the game know how useful and versatile on both ends of the floor Pippen truly was, especially in his prime.

Dejounte Murray responds to trade rumors swirling around him in the buildup to the 2022 NBA Draft

Uh Ohhhhhhhhh”- Dejounte Murray responds to trade rumors swirling around him in the buildup to the 2022 NBA Draft

Murray’s name keeps popping up in discussions with the Atlanta Hawks for John Collins, and Murray offered a simple response when seeing the rumors on Twitter: uh oh

The Phoenix Suns are “very motivated” to find a sign-and-trade deal for Deandre Ayton

The Phoenix Suns are “very motivated” to find a sign-and-trade deal for Deandre Ayton

The Suns could keep Ayton onboard since he’s only a restricted free agent, but with some bad blood between the two, they have decided that now is the time for them to move on from him

How Kobe Bryant built his huge business empire

Kobe Bryant's best and worst investments throughout his career

Bryant invested $6 million a startup sports drink company called BodyArmor, and the current valuation of that investment is now close to $800 million


John Stockton explains why Mark Price is one of the most underrated players ever

Stockton even called him one of the best guards he ever played against.

Rick Ross praises Dwyane Wade for letting LeBron become face of the Heat franchise

Rick Ross lauds Dwyane Wade for allowing LeBron James to become 'the face' of Miami: "That’s why he would never not be number 1"

Some credit LeBron James for Miami's historic back-to-back titles, but Rick Ross believes it wouldn't be possible if Dwyane Wade did not take a step back


Michael Jordan harshly rejects two kids asking for a photo

MJ is getting a lot of criticism for his reaction, as many people are saying LeBron would never treat his fans that way.

Gregg Popovich during a Spurs timeout with Kawhi Leonard

How Gregg Popovich tweaked his coaching style to fit Kawhi Leonard's nonverbal approach

Kawhi Leonard is a generational star that needs a unique type of treatment. Gregg Popovich knew that.

Kyrie Irving reportedly has a lack of respect for Nets head coach Steve Nash

Kyrie Irving’s ‘lack of respect’ for Nets head coach Steve Nash reportedly is a major issue amid extension talks

The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly hesitant to give Kyrie Irving a max contract because of his ongoing conflict with Steve Nash