Phil Jackson remembers a moment when Michael Jordan realized Scottie Pippen is the best all-around player in the NBA

Phil Jackson remembers a moment when Michael Jordan realized Scottie Pippen is the best all-around player in the NBA

One of the most iconic duos in NBA history is without a doubt Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, who led the Chicago Bulls to six championships in eight years. Before Scottie Pippen became the player we remember, it was Michael Jordan who was a one-man wrecking crew for the Bulls, and despite his greatness, he was not able to make it far into the playoffs. After Pippen asserted himself as a player and learned the ropes in terms of becoming a dominant player in the NBA — things quickly changed for the Bulls.

In one of his older interviews, Phil Jackson talks about the admiration Michael Jordan had for Pippen after the summer in 1992 when they were both members of the famous Dream Team that won a gold medal that year in Barcelona. That was an excellent showcase for Jordan to see if Pippen could assert himself as one of the best players in a group of future Hall of Famers. Pippen was regarded as the best player at that time, and even Michael Jordan was impressed with what he saw from Pippen on that tournament.

Michael returned from the games raving about Scottie’s performance. Before the summer, Michael had regarded Pippen as the most talented member of his supporting cast. But after watching him outplay Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Clyde Drexler, and other future Hall of Famers in Barcelona, Michael realized that Scottie was the best all-around player on what many consider the best basketball team ever assembled. Scottie, Michael had to admit, had even outshone him in several of the games.

Phil Jackson

Here’s a short reminder of the 1992 Dream Team as they were heading into the game versus Croatia, led by the late great Drazen Petrovic and young Bulls prospect Toni Kukoc.