Michael Jordan had a pretty amazing time in the NBA. He achieved everything a player can think of and established himself as the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT). The only thing that can hold against MJ is his lack of success in the playoffs before the rise of Scottie Pippen.
Many fans and sports pundits use that fact to dethrone Jordan as the GOAT. After all, he was 1-9 in the playoffs before Pippen became a legitimate superstar. While this is a common belief, former NBA star and coach Mark Jackson debunked that theory in a recent interview with NBA analyst Shannon Sharpe.
"Scottie Pippen is an all-time great. A top 50-player or be a top 75-player. Is in the discussion for when you talk about the greatest Small Forwards that ever played this game and deserves a lot of credit. Early on though, he wasn't that Scottie Pippen. He had to develop into that guy. Michael Jordan single-handedly won series.
"I can remember 1991, my last year with the Knicks. We were beating them up. We had physical guys at every single position...We were loaded. We were on a mission to physically beat them up. Michael Jordan single-handedly and Tony Kukoc played good, Scottie Pippen, but the feeling of having number 23 on your team did something to them, he single-handedly won the series."
As Jackson explained it quite well, Pippen was a great player. One of the best at his position, but initially, it was Jordan who carried the Chicago Bulls on his back. After all, as Jackson earlier defined, he and Kobe Bryant are the two players that leave everything on the court when it comes to winning.
If it weren't for Mike, the Bulls might not even have won the title that season. In the two years, when Jordan retired from the league and Scottie was already a star in the league, the Bulls failed to win the championship.
They were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in back-to-back seasons. Then once their franchise superstar returned to the roster and got back in his groove, the Bulls once again dominated the league for three more years.
After the dust settled, the duo of MJ and Pippen won six championships together without losing even a single time in the NBA Finals.
It is always great to hear more stories about Jordan. One such story is when he used Mark Jackson's mocking to fuel himself. Jordan will always remain a player whose mentality is unmatched whether or not he is playing with a star by his side.