My message today to Scottie Pippen is short and to the point.
Shut up. We don’t want to hear from you.
Pip piped up to criticize Kevin Durant about his failure to will his team past the Milwaukee Bucks despite playing without Kyrie Irving for much of the series and playing alongside one-legged James Harden. He said LeBron James in his prime would have been able to do so. Pippen then roasted Durant for not being able “to play team basketball.”
Maybe he’s right. But I don’t want to hear this from Pippen, a man who was so sensitive and fragile that he quit on teammates twice during critical moments. This is the same man who foolishly let the Bulls snooker him with a bad contract. And, he wanted out during the height of the Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan-led dynasty.
I’m also under the belief that Pippen had a bigger role in keeping Isiah Thomas off the 1992 Olympic Dream team than Jordan.
I am not a Scottie Pippen fan. Neither is Durant, who scolded Pippen on Twitter.
“Didn’t the great Scottie Pippen refuse to go in the game for the last-second shot because in his feelings his coach drew up a play for a better shooter?”
He played team basketball because he was a great facilitator. However, there were times he quit on his team and was not a great teammate.
We should treat him like a child. He should not speak until spoken to.
Could the man play? Sure could. There are many who believe the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players list shouldn’t include him.
I am not one of them.
His game improved every season. He came out of Central Arkansas as an athletic wing who could defend and attack the basket. He lacked a jump shot and worked diligently in the gym until his jumper became a deadly weapon.
However, he does not have the right to call the kettle black.
Pippen claims that he was the real leader of the Bulls, not Jordan. He cringed at the “Jordan’s sidekick” label. And he sought more respect from the media and Bulls management. When Pippen got a chance to show leadership and teamwork, he buckled.
During the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Knicks, coach Phil Jackson called for Tony Kukoc to take the final shot with 1.8 seconds remaining in Game 5 with the score tied 102-102. This insulted Pippen so much that he took himself out of the game and watched Kukoc hit the game-winning shot from the bench. Pippen’s action’s outraged teammate Bill Cartwright. He lectured him on and off the court.
Years later, Pippen cried racism because he believed Jackson wanted to elevate a white guy.
So why should we listen to this man?
He criticized KD for failing to beat the Bucks without a full complement of players. He claims James would have willed the Nets to victory. Are you talking about the James who won titles in Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh? The James who needed Kevin Love and Irving in Cleveland? Or the James that won a championship with Anthony Davis with the Lakers?
Why are we listening to Pippen? Why did I waste my time on him?
Follow Foster on Twitter at TerryFosterDet.
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