6 NBA Championships and 6 Finals MVPs. Sure, Michael Jordan has the consensus for the greatest basketball player of all time. The biggest reason for the Chicago Bulls becoming a dynasty in the ’90s and solidifying their spot as one of the best teams in NBA history. But basketball is a team sport, and no matter how good MJ was, even he couldn’t have done it without support behind him, especially his partner in crime, Scottie Pippen.
Scottie is one of the most overlooked players ever, as his impact and presence on the court got often overshadowed by Jordan’s spectacular heroics. But when it came down to the details, Pippen was the team’s glue, leading the Bulls in rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals in all of their six championships runs, all while holding down their defense. But those were never the stats or plays that made the highlight reel.
The true fans of the game know how vital Scottie Pippen was to those Bulls teams, and especially the players that played against them. So it was no surprise to see the great Charles Barkley absolutely roast Michael Jordan in a video tribute for Pippen jersey retirement back in 2005:
“Hey Scottie, congratulations. It’s been an honor and a pleasure to play with you on the Dream Team and play against you. You’re one of the greatest players in NBA history, and I just want to congratulate you, and I just think that Michael Jordan should be kissing the ground that you walk on because you helped them win all those championships and did all the heavy lifting.”Charles Barkley, via Scottie Pippen Jersey Retirement
“Sir Charles,” known for never holding back from his thoughts, took advantage of the opportunity to praise Scottie Pippen and fire some shots at his friend at the time, Michael Jordan. It was all in good nature back then, but as we all known, the two fell off sometime after that. However, Charles and Scottie always had a good relationship, playing together with the Dream Team and even teaming up in the later stages of their career, forming the infamous old “Big 3” of Barkley, Pippen, and Olajuwon.
All in all, Charles did a great job of trolling and giving some hard time to MJ, in the only way he knows, all while providing the spotlight and praise to Scottie Pippen on his night. It was nice to see Pippen get the recognition he deserves, as we will probably get some juicy stories about his career in November when Pippen’s tell-all book named “UNGUARDED” releases.