Playing with Michael Jordan and being his second in command has its perks. A lot of wins being the most important one. It also spoils you in a way – you know you have the GOAT on your team. Despite all that, Pippen doesn’t think Jordan was the most dominant player he ever saw play.
We covered Shaq still being mad about his MVP season and not being the first unanimous MVP. Bit Shaq does point out he believes he was the most dominant player when he was at the top of his game. At the height of his power, if Shaquille O’Neal decided he was scoring – he was scoring. Scottie Pippen seconds that notion (via The Jump):
I would say Michael is probably the most unstoppable, but when you talk about dominant, like we used to have to stop Shaq from running. That was kinda the game plan: don’t let Shaq run. Don’t even think about him getting the ball, just stop him from running.
This does connect to what Kobe said about Shaq. If he wanted to, he could’ve been the greatest, but in Kobe’s mind, his motivation for that wasn’t there. Shaq always wanted to be more than a basketball player while he was in the NBA.
That’s why the greatest ones are born. Michel Jordan, Tom Brady, Roger Federer, Wayne Gretzky – a rare combination of love of the game, singular focus and an unparalleled drive to outwork everyone.