Phil Jackson explains how moving Scottie Pippen on a guard position helped the Chicago Bulls

Phil Jackson explains how moving Scottie Pippen on a guard position helped the Chicago Bulls

Scottie Pippen‘s contribution to the six championships the Chicago Bulls won in the ’90s is unmeasurable. With Jordan, he formed a dynamic duo that was pretty much unstoppable for an extended time. In the system run by the Bulls under Phil Jackson, Pippen’s versatility was of utmost importance because of his ability to score, facilitate the ball, and play exceptional defense on multiple fronts.

Initially, Pippen’s role on the team was forward, but before the 1990-91 season, Phil Jackson decided to play him more in a guard’s position than earlier in his career. The Zen Master realized that the triangle offense the Bulls were running, in some way, enhanced the Pippen’s offensive skill set. Pippen was an exceptional floor general who could make the right play by scoring the basket or putting his teammates in the right positions to score.

“I always felt Scottie’s contribution to our team became elevated when we moved him from being a forward to a guard in the 1990-91 season. Using Scottie at the guard position within the triangle offense allowed him to do all the things that he did so well while also taking better advantage of his offensive skills. He would rebound and push the ball, which really put us in an ideal situation to set up our offense. His skills at guard with the basketball in his hands put a tremendous amount of pressure on opponents to match up.”

Phil Jackson

That season Pippen and the Bulls won their first championship in the NBA finals against the Lakers. Pippen was spectacular that entire series on both ends of the floor and established himself as one of the best two-way players in the league continued to line up all-star appearances later in his career.