Scottie Pippen | Hall of Fame | Class of 2010

Scottie Pippen - Hall of Fame 2010

 

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Pippen joins game’s greats in Hall of Fame

Scottie Pippen

The final chapter of the unlikely story of Scottie Pippen’s playing career essentially came to fruition on Aug. 13, 2010, when the Bulls legend was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of its Class of 2010.

Remembered as perhaps one of the best complimentary players in league history but a superstar in his own right, Pippen delivered an eight-minute speech during the enshrinement ceremony at Symphony Hall in Springfield, Mass., in which he thanked several individuals who helped him arrive at that moment and recalled the Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990s.

“I played this game that I love so much and everything I had, I laid it out there,” Pippen said. “I have also tried to live my life in the way that would make the people I love and care about proud of me. I have so much to be thankful for. I have been able to live my dream of playing basketball surrounded by people I love and being cheered on by the best fans in the world.”

No one tougher than Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen

Sam Smith: There are players who have won more in basketball’s Hall of Fame, though not many more than Scottie Pippen with his six championships playing for the Bulls. There certainly are players who have scored more, shot better, jumped higher, run faster and been more popular.

But there may be no one tougher than Pippen. Not physically tougher, for fellow inductee Karl Malone certainly was sturdier. And perhaps not mentally tougher in the way we generally define it in sports, as most everyone would point to Pippen’s former teammate and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan as the portrait of sporting tenacity.

Ironically, it was Pippen who was long cursed with the ugly label of being soft for his famous migraine headache in the 1990 conference finals, being openly taunted by Xavier McDaniel in the 1992 playoffs and the verbal and physical abuse he endured in the Bulls/Pistons wars of the late 1980s. But that, really, was part of his great strength, sort of Scottie Pippen as Buddha.

Jordan presents Pippen at Hall of Fame

Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan were side-by-side for countless memories during the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990s, winning six world championships in eight seasons. On Aug. 13 in Springfield, Mass., they came together once again to share what will certainly be a bright spotlight.

Pippen chose Jordan to present him during his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “I can’t think of a better person to do it,” said Pippen. “Michael is someone I shared my career with, accomplishing most of what I have accomplished thus far. He was a great teammate, teacher and admirer."

Reinsdorf: ‘It took Scottie to put us over the top’

For many Bulls fans, it’s impossible to think about Michael Jordan without also thinking of Scottie Pippen. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf shares that sentiment and he takes the thought one step further.

Scottie Pippen

“Six championships that wouldn’t have been won without Scottie,” Reinsdorf said when asked what comes to mind when he recalls Pippen’s career. “Michael couldn’t have done it by himself. The rest of the players and Michael would not have been enough. It took Scottie to put us over the top those six times.”

It’s often been said that Pippen never won a title without Jordan, but Jordan never won it all without Pippen, either. At the end of the day, the two players were the perfect complement to each other. That’s why when Pippen enters basketball’s Hall of Fame on Aug. 13, it’s only fitting that he’ll join Jordan among the game’s greats in Springfield, Mass. just one year after his enshrinement.


Jackson: Pippen an obvious choice for Hall of Fame

It was the summer of 1986 and Phil Jackson was coaching his last season for the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association. He watched as Scottie Pippen put on a show during a draft combine.

Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson

“He showed a remarkable amount of capabilities playing the guard position given his size,” said Jackson. “He also demonstrated a tremendous level of activity on both ends of the floor and fast breaks. Defensively, you could see he had a great deal of talent.”

The next fall, the two were paired together in Chicago—Pippen as a rookie with the Bulls and Jackson as one of Doug Collins’ assistant coaches.


Jordan, Bird and Paxson offer praise for Pippen

Following the announcement that he will be inducted to basketball’s Hall of Fame in August, Scottie Pippen’s iPhone was overloaded with congratulatory phone calls and text messages. The game’s greatest player of all-time, who happened to be Pippen’s teammate while the Bulls won six world championships in eight seasons, also reached out to share his thoughts on the achievement.

Scottie Pippen

“I want to extend my congratulations and heartfelt best wishes to my teammate and friend, Scottie Pippen, on being elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame,” Michael Jordan said in a statement. “To go from being a college walk-on to first ballot Hall of Famer is an improbable journey and is a true testament to Scottie’s hard work."

Hear more from Jordan, along with thoughts from Celtics legend Larry Bird and Bulls EVP-Basketball Operations John Paxson.

Hall of Fame the final chapter for Pippen

Scottie Pippen arrived in Indianapolis on April 4, but it wasn’t just for the Final Four. The next day, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that the Bulls legend is among those voted in as the Class of 2010.

Scottie Pippen

Pippen received the news from the Hall of Fame earlier in the week. He took the call from his Ft. Lauderdale home and his wife, Larsa, was the first one with whom he shared the news. His college and high school coaches also got word from Pippen of the honor, but other than a few texts to close friends, he had to keep it quiet until the official announcement.

“I knew I had two chances—as an individual and as part of the ’92 Dream Team. I cherish going in very highly. It was a great honor to be part of that team and for us to do well enough that now it’s getting inducted to the Hall of Fame. As an individual player, it’s something I never could have dreamed,” said Pippen. “It’s not an accolade that you can just go out and achieve. You have to impress people by the way you play the game. I tried to play the game the right way my whole career, played to win, and tried to be the best.”

Read more to hear from Pippen about playing on the Dream Team in Barcelona, his favorite players to compete against, and what's in store for his future.

Pippen beat the odds to land in Hall of Fame

Is there another player in the player in the Basketball Hall of Fame--heck, any hall of fame--who by the time he was college age was only good enough to be the student manager of a small town college basketball team?

Scottie Pippen

That's how remarkable Scottie Pippen's story is, how far he's come, less in miles and more in accomplishment to become a legendary figure in the international basketball work as the crucial matching part of the six-time world champion Bulls.

Yes, Michael Jordan was the star and arguably the best player in the history of the game, and inducted into the Hall of Fame last year. But would Jordan have been as successful and accomplished without Scottie Pippen?

It's long been questioned and debated, but even Jordan in his acceptance speech last year acknowledged Pippen in that regard as the only teammate he singled out.

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