Skip to main content

Scottie Pippen reveals who's the one guy he feared defending

Scottie Pippen breaks down why Shaquille O'Neal was the only player he feared playing against in his career
Scottie Pippen reveals why Shaquille O'Neal was the one guy he feared defending

Scottie Pippen gave us some exciting insights on Shaq while describing why Shaquille O'Neal was one of the rare players he feared.

When you talk about some of the most dominant players and seasons in NBA history, Shaquille O'Neal in the 2000 season has to be the first name that comes to your mind. At 28 years old, Shaq was in his prime, combining the right mix of strength, agility, and skill to dominate and terrorize the rest of the league. Shaq averaged 29.7 ppg, 13.6 rpg, and 3.8apg while leading his Lakers to a 67-15 record and his first NBA championship.

It was not fun playing against Shaq

It was a season unlike no other we had ever seen before from an individual. Shaq, of course, got the MVP award but got left with a bitter taste due to one vote not being in his favor denying him the title of the first unanimous MVP in history. That one other vote went to Allen Iverson, who had a great season, but nowhere near Shaq's. Shaq would stay salty about that till this day, while Stephen Curry in 2016 managed to become the first unanimous MVP ever, even though most people agree it should have been Shaq in 2000.

The crew of The Jump on ESPN talked about this topic on their show back in 2019, and Scottie Pippen gave us some exciting insights on Shaq while describing why Shaq was one of the rare players he feared.

"It was not fun playing against Shaq. I didn't fear too many players during my career, but Shaq's one of those guys that I feared, and the fact you had to come down and double team on him. He had the speed, the power, the spins."

Scottie Pippen, The Jump

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The difference between Shaq and Jordan

Scottie then explained how his teams prepared to guard Shaq, saying you didn't have too many options. When he was playing with the Bulls, this was a bit easier task due to the strength of their team and the system they were running. However, when Pippen was playing for the Blazers and fighting to get out of the Western Conference in the early 2000s, he saw firsthand how unstoppable Shaq was.

"He was just a very difficult guy for us to defend as a team. Not for me as an individual, but I had to come down and double team. That was almost worse than guarding him because he would swing with his arms. Our whole gameplan was if you gonna double-team Shaq, you better get there before they get the ball in there because if you get there after, you're just gonna be a part of a poster."

Scottie Pippen, The Jump

To cap it off, Scottie explained the difference between being the best and the most dominant players, separating MJ and Shaq in the GOAT conversation.

"To me, Shaq was the most dominant. I would say Michael is probably the most unstoppable, but when you talk about dominant like we used to try to stop Shaq from running like that was kinda the gameplan. Don't let Shaq run. Don't even think about him getting the ball; just stop him from running. He gonna beat most of the players down the court."

Scottie Pippen, The Jump

What Scottie pointed out is a huge reason why Shaq was so dominant. It wasn't all about the strength. Shaq could move fast at 7'1'' and 350 pounds, run the floor, and use his footwork to punish opponents. That blend of agility, strength, and length is precisely what made him the default most dominant player of all time in the eyes of the great Scottie Pippen and most of the NBA world.

LeBron James admits he started taking care of his body pretty late in his career

LeBron shares his top three players of all time: "This is tough!"

Back in 2014, LeBron had a lot of trouble picking just three guys.


Tracy McGrady calls out Rudy Gobert: "What the f**k are you doing in the off-season?"

T-Mac just can comprehend Gobert hasn't added any moves to his offensive game over the years.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan once went from judging a dunk contest to destroying the winner in street clothes

MJ's future teammate Jo Jo English was one of the first people to learn an important lesson - never talk trash to Black Jesus.

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh promotes healthy eating that keeps him in prime shape despite being retired — “It gives me the energy I need to go forward”

Fully aware his NBA days are behind him, Chris Bosh explained why he still eats healthy and works out every day.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan goes up against Utah Jazz player Bryon Russell

“There's no 'Jordan rules' when you play 1-on-1“ — Byron Russell claims Michael Jordan 'chickened out' from a 1-on-1 challenge

After being called out by Michael Jordan during his Hall of Fame speech, Bryon Russell hit back and challenged MJ to a 1-on-1 game. According to Russell, Jordan "chickened out."

Lower Merion High School senior Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant had a “kill list” of 56 players who were ranked above him in high school

Trust Kobe Bryant to make any rankings lists (that has him as an underdog) look foolish


George Gervin shares his all-time five and snubs Michael Jordan

"The Iceman" shared a great lineup with players from his era, sharing a few surprising choices.

Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley

When Michael Jordan "took things personally" on air against Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley bet against Michael Jordan and paid the price.