The two-way players and greatest at that like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Hakeem Olajuwon, and David Robinson made the 90s what it was. And Pippen was the prototype of the ideal player of that era.
Players from every era believe that their generation is the best at basketball, but there is a reason why players from the 90s have the best claim that their era is better than every other.
If only Michael Jordan and the Bulls did not decide to have it their way and won 6 championships in 8 years, the players who come at the top of “best players who never won a ring” would have had a ring.
Be it Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, and a few more, all of them came close several times but fell short to each other, or the Bulls or a team that later fell short to His Airness and Co.
It might occur to most that MJ was the sole reason why those Bulls teams did what they did. History books will tell you the same because when he was away in his first retirement, they didn’t win the championships. But they might not have even won 3 if Jordan didn’t have Scottie Pippen by his side all those years.
🏀6 🏆 in 8 years
🏀Same roles for full run
🏀Primes overlapped with each other
🏀Primes overlapped with championships
🏀Enjoyed playing together
🏀Enjoyed working together
🏀Skillsets were complementary
Ladies and gentlemen, the 🐐NBA duo.pic.twitter.com/dcCIcFpN6C
— Jack M Silverstein (@readjack) February 14, 2020
Scottie Pippen had a motive to prove that he was the best in the league when MJ was away and he surely became a top MVP candidate.
Ask any player or coach in the NBA about who was the best defender in the league in the 90s, and everyone will have Pippen at either #1 or #2. And he wasn’t a pseudo-best defender of the current generation who does target defending and never takes on the best players in opposition.
Pippen would guard all the best players of every team irrespective of their size and was a maestro on switching who never missed what he had planned in his mind. While he was at it, he was also one of the top-10 scorers of the league in that decade with over 14000 points.
Now tell me who had the best support to his championship runs ever. That man was on a mission to prove that he was the best in the league when Jordan was away.
He fell short of Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon in winning the MVP as well as the Championship. But that’s a man who Jordan would not have felt shame in losing a chip or any of his MVPs.
Thanks to NBA Reddit, for getting our attention to this. It made us dig up some records that show how dominant was Pippen in the 1993-94 season as both a scorer and a defender being Top-5 in both the MVP (#3) and the DPOY (#4) race while averaging 22 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.9 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game.
Scottie Pippen’s 1993-94 Season Without MJ
22 PPG / 8.7 RPG / 5.6 APG
First Team All-Defensive
First Team All-NBA
3rd in MVP voting
Happy birthday, Pip. pic.twitter.com/kNAoCPGfLP
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) September 25, 2018