When you talk about some of the best defenders in NBA history, Scottie Pippen‘s name jumps right into the mix. At 6’8” and 210 lbs, Pippen was the perfect mix of size, strength, speed, and basketball IQ, allowing him to guard multiple players on the court. That defensive versatility played a massive part in all of their six championships and brought another dimension to the infamous Chicago Bulls.
But no matter how good of a defender he was, in a league filled with so many talented players, even Pippen faced particular guys that gave him problems. In an interview with Michael Rapaport, Scottie got asked about some of the biggest trash talkers he faced, naming your standard choices in the likes of Gary Payton and Larry Bird. But then Scottie threw in one more name and talked about how dirty he played and how hard he was to stop. Pippen went in-depth and shared how it felt guarding Adrian Dantley.
“I can’t even say AD was much of a trash-talker, as he was a dirty player. I guess he was teaching me. He would do the backdown, and then all of a sudden, he’d hook your arm, and he was one of the strongest guys, I mean, he was strong as Oak[Oakley], and he’ll just run to the basket holding your arm, and he had the ugliest shot, you know he like throw it up. But he get a foul every time..6’4”, physically strong, that dude could score the basketball, check the record books. He probably had about 10 000 on me.”Scottie Pippen, The Universe Galaxy
Adrian Dantley is mainly known for his days as a member of the Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons, where he was a lethal scorer. AD would end up averaging 24.3ppg, 5.7rpg, and 3.0apg for his career, notching 6x All-Star appearances and 2 scoring championships, so it is no surprise the talented scorer gave problems even to the great Scottie Pippen. When you combine the skill with the mental toughness he had to go up against anybody, AD was one of the most underrated players ever.
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