Skip to main content

PHIL JACKSON EXPLAINS WHAT WAS SCOTTIE PIPPEN'S greatest strength as a player during his time with the Chicago Bulls

Scottie Pippen Phil Jackson

'The Last Dance' documentary' which was focused mostly on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, allowed the fans to get acquainted with the other superstar from that team, Scottie Pippen. Some would even say that he should have received more attention in the documentary, but fans still had an opportunity to witness how vital his impact was on the team. For the most part, Pippen was described as Jordan's sidekick, and most of the focus was on Jordan the majority of the time, as we saw in the documentary.

Among people who understand and watch basketball, it was evident Pippen was a special player who does so many things on the court incredibly well. To this day, he is considered one of the best forwards ever to play the game of basketball, and you'll rarely see a player capable of playing both ends of the floor on such a high level as Scottie did.

Phil Jackson, who coached Pippen ever since he came to the NBA, immediately saw in which ways Pippen could help the team. There is a perception that Jordan did all the talking during Bulls practice, but according to Jackson, Pippen was the voice of the team in every way possible. Because of his high basketball IQ, especially on defense, Pippen took care that all of his teammates knew where they need to be in certain situations during the game. You could easily say he was the team's captain when it came to defense.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

His greatest strength was his knowledge of how things worked on the defensive end of the floor. Scottie was the voice of our team—figuratively and literally, as he did a lot of the talking and kept our team on the same page. When he wasn't at the top of the key harassing a guard as a special assignment, he was on the backside of our defense, talking his teammates through different situations, whether it was a double team, trap, or some other important aspect. Because of that, he was very vital to the run that we made.

Phil Jackson, via NBA.com

Stats can tell one side of the story about a particular player and his role within the team, but observations like the one from the Zen Master are a whole other thing. When it comes to Pippen, people knew he was a tremendous player because they saw him dominate the competition almost on a nightly basis during his playing days. However, most of the fans never fully acknowledged all the little things he did for the Bulls, especially to navigate the defense and make the right plays at the right time.

Jackson also said Pippen has a great understanding of the game and would even make a good coach if he decides to pursue that path. When one of the greatest coaches in NBA history thinks that way about a particular player, you know get a better understanding of how special he is, and Pippen was just that.

michael-jordan-phil-jackson-min

Phil Jackson explains how Michael Jordan did not win games by himself

The "Zen Master" dived into why the 90s Bulls were more than just an MJ show.

shaq-wilt-ralph-sampson-min

"It's a different trajectory to the basket!"-Ralph Sampson explains why big men struggle with free-throws

Sampson explained why greats like Wilt or Shaq never quite managed to improve their free-throw shooting.

Gilbert Arenas blasts Shaquille O'Neal for his criticism on Ben Simmons

Gilbert Arenas blasts Shaquille O'Neal for his criticism of today's players: "Y'all were prima donnas also"

Gilbert Arenas pointed out Shaquille O'Neal's hypocrisy when bashing today's superstar for their off-court behaviour -- mostly, the Ben Simmons saga

LeBron James, Allen Iverson and Eric Snow

Eric Snow on playing with Allen Iverson and LeBron James — “One way or another, I helped them do something”

Eric Snow is happy to have helped two of the greatest players of all time make history

Actor Idris Elba and NBA great Michael Jordan

Why Michael Jordan rejected Idris Elba's pitch to play him in a movie

Elba offered an unexpected angle, and didn't get a straight no...but he didn't get a yes either.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine’s response to Los Angeles Lakers rumors should get fans excited

LaVine and the Lakers seem like a match made in heaven. However, getting him to play for the Purple and Gold is more complicated than expected.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton

The Phoenix Suns are reportedly still hesitant to give Deandre Ayton the max

If Deandre Ayton doesn't get the money he wants, his departure will significantly dismantle the Phoenix Suns' hopes of reviving their championship window