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Scottie Pippen accomplished every—, well nearly everything over the course of his 17-year career in the NBA.
Pippen, despite being known as one of the greatest defensive players of his time, was never named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He featured on the All-NBA Defensive Team 10 times, but never once took home the hardware.
He might just have the reason for why the media never voted for him, and wouldn’t you guess, it has to do with Michael Jordan.
“I think they were too busy watching Michael,” Pippen said, via Brad Sullivan of Ahn Fire Digital.
Like Pippen, Jordan was also a defensive ace of the Bulls’ teams of the 80s and 90s. Jordan was named to the All-NBA Defensive Team nine times, but unlike Pippen, the media once voted for him as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. That came back in the 1987-88 season, when Pippen was just a rookie in the league.
But despite the two creating perhaps the best partnership the league has ever seen, winning six NBA championships together, Pippen has taken shots at Jordan in recent years, much to do with the depiction of fellow teammates in The Last Dance docuseries.
Former teammate Charles Oakley went as far to say in January that the relationship between the two is over.
No, I think it’s over,” Oakley said. “Yeah, I think it’s over. It wasn’t great from the get-go. I think they [covered] Dennis Rodman more than Scottie — and Steve Kerr,” Oakley said, via the Bill Simmons Podcast. “But my thing to that is, Kerr did way more off the court than Scottie. Dennis probably has, too. But on that court, Scottie did a lot more than both of them, but Scottie felt like he was left out of there. And he felt like Jordan wouldn’t have six rings if it wasn’t for him…
“[Jordan] always praised Scottie, always praised Scottie. He never talked down about him, but I don’t know what happened since ‘The Last Dance.’ It seems like things just — he probably said, ‘OK, Scottie said this stuff about me. OK, I’m not gonna say nothing.’ He’s not gonna say nothing back in the press, none of that, try to go back to Scottie. He’s just gonna keep doing what he’s doing — play golf, fish, relax and smoke cigars.”
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