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, many real NBA and Chicago Bulls fans recognize the worth Pippen had during all those championships runs, and, indeed, Jordan couldn't have done it without him.
Pippen was a true professional
However, it always seems Pippen is somewhat underappreciated. Most 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 knew what Pippen brought to the team from a basketball and personal perspective.
The 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
He made everyone else better
Lenny Wilkens 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 unique 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.
Pippen displayed tremendous athleticism throughout his career 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 look to him if they want to learn how to impact the game in more ways than just scoring.
Unfortunately, some of his recent rants and unhappiness with the coverage he and the rest of the Bulls teammates received in The Last Dance documentary tarnished his reputation among the fans and some media members. Pippen wasn't holding back on criticizing Michael Jordan, saying his impact on the Bulls' success was overrated and how other players, including himself, should get more credit for taking part during those historic champions runs.