Welcome back all and a very happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there. As we creep closer to the return of sports, the void has somewhat been filled as of late with the brilliant, 10-part documentary, "The Last Dance" about the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls & Michael Jordan's journey from North Carolina to becoming the most recognized athlete in the world and a true cultural icon of the 1980s & 90s'.
It chronicles not just the 1997-98 season, but the journey over the years building up to that last season before Phil Jackson was ousted and the team was blown up. As one could image, you can't have a documentary about the 1990s Chicago Bulls, and not mention Jordan's Robin to his Batman, Scottie Pippen.
Pippen has been referred to as the GOAT of NBA sidekicks, one of the greatest small forwards of all-time, and perhaps the most undervalued player in the history of the league. Pippen revolutionized the point forward position in head coach Phil Jackson's triangle offense. Pippen was the perfect sidekick for Jordan, and was one of the best defenders & most versatile players in history. Dennis Rodman even went so far as to say that had LeBron James played during the 1990s, he would have been the third best player behind Pippen. Quite the statement from a once former enemy of the Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys", before eventual teaming up with the Bulls to win 3 titles (1996-1998).
Pippen was widely regarded as the second best player of his era, behind teammate Michael Jordan. He was constantly overshadowed, ever since growing up in Hamburg, Arkansas and his days as an equipment manager for the Central Arkansas basketball team, to practicing with the team, and eventually earning a basketball scholarship & becoming a two-time NAIA All-American, to a top 10 pick in the NBA Draft.
With episodes 7 & 8 set to air of "The Last Dance", it's the perfect time to take a look at Scottie Pippen's remarkable career. Always living in the shadow of MJ, and understandably so, Pippen is a Hall of Famer, and one of the all-time greats in his own right. Without further ado, here is a look at Pipp's illustrious career by the numbers:
6 ☆ NBA Titles
10 ☆ Consecutive seasons on the NBA All-Defensive Team (1991-2000)
8 ☆ Out of those 10 straight, number of consecutive 1st Team All-Defense selections (1992-1999)
7 ☆ Consecutive seasons on the All-NBA Team (1992-1998) (3- 1st Team; 2- 2nd Team; 2- 3rd Team)
2 ☆ Number of players in NBA history to record 5 steals & 5 blocks in a playoff game - Only Pippen & Hakeem Olajuwon have accomplished the feat
7 ☆ Number of All-Star game appearances; including being named All-Star game MVP in 1994
6th ☆ Rank on the NBA's all-time career list for steals (2,307)
2nd ☆ Rank on the NBA's all-time career list for total steals in the postseason
2.9 ☆ Average steals per game in back-to-back seasons (1993-94 & 1994-1995; career highs)
6.4/5.2/2.0 ☆ Rebounds, Assists, and Steals per game averages for NBA career
17 ☆ Year career in the NBA
16 ☆ Consecutive seasons Pippen was in the Playoffs; only missing out on the postseason in his final season of 2003-04 back with the still-rebuilding Bulls
10th ☆ Ranking on the all-time list for most playoff game appearances
2 ☆ Time Olympic Gold Medalist; Including the original 1992 "Dream Team"
50 ☆ As in Pippen was selected as one of the league's 50 greatest players of all-time in 1996
1 ☆ Pippen is the only player in history to win an NBA Title & Olympic Gold Medal in the same year twice (1992, 1996)
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I'll be putting out regular content as we inch ever closer to the return of sports!