The Hall of Fame basketball writer covered the team from the first practice to the gold-medal triumph in Barcelona, delivering never before heard interviews and stories about their iconic run in ’92. One of those interviews was with Scottie Pippen, but unlike most others, this one wasn’t centered on the dynamics within the Dream Team.
McCallum covered the NBA even before the ’92 Olympics, and he had developed personal relationships with most of the Dream Team Members. Not with Pippen, though. Michael Jordan’s brilliance would always get in the way.
Even when he would come to Chicago with the intention of doing a Scottie Pippen-related story, No.23 would put up an incredible performance, unwittingly stealing the spotlight from his teammate.
So when he arranged to meet Scottie at a hotel near his home in Florida, McCallum wanted to keep Michael out of their conversation. But he couldn’t help himself. Jack asked Pippen about playing alongside MJ, feeling guilty about his treatment of Pip. But once Scottie answered his question, the guilt was gone.
Michael was huge. He was getting headlines, and most of the time, it’s good for him, ’cause he may score 40 points, he may score 35 points, and he’s always gonna have a spin-off that Michael did this, but the team did this.Scottie Pippen, Diversion Podcasts
It was a rare occasion Scottie opened up about the challenge of playing in Michael’s shadow — not just for himself, but the whole Bulls locker room. It took a collective effort to get used to it without envy taking over, especially when MJ was the one receiving credit for everything they were doing as a group.
We had to go through those as a team, and as players, you have to figure that, and you have to read it, but, you know, you still gotta keep pushing forward.Scottie Pippen, Diversion Podcasts
Pippen and the Bulls learned to live with all the spotlight being on Michael. Even when they were more deserving of it — the rest of the guys never made a big fuss about it. That’s why they became one of the biggest dynasties in NBA history. Had one ego intervened, things could’ve been a lot different for the ’90s Bulls.
To Scottie Pippen and the rest of the team — you guys are the real MVPs!