There is no denying that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen formed one of the greatest duos in NBA history. With Pippen and Jordan leading the Bulls, they went on to launch a dynasty for the franchise, winning 6 NBA championships across the 1990s. The duo was sensational during their time together and had incredible chemistry together.
Michael Jordan clearly had a lot of respect for Scottie Pippen. And on the night of Scottie Pippen’s Chicago Bulls jersey retirement, Jordan spoke wonderfully about Pippen, and how important he was to the rest of his career. He mentioned that Pippen complimented his game, and he complimented Pippen’s to form an incredible duo.
“It’s like asking Batman what Robin meant to him. He was a good sidekick. Obviously, Scottie was a great leader. People didn’t see that because I was on the floor at the same time and I was here prior to him. He was a great leader for me. If something happened to me, I knew he could step in and support. With him as a support system for me, it made me much stronger as a leader. I’m pretty sure even when he had to, his games where he wanted to step out and show his leadership, his athleticism, and his scoring or whatever, it’s good to have someone like me backing him up. We were a great tandem.”
“We had so many (memories). Obviously, you can’t just pick one. When he first came, I never knew who he was. I credit Jerry (Krause), I know he doesn’t get much credit for that, but I know him and Doug Collins used to have their little meetings when they were scouting a trade for us to get Scottie Pippen. I didn’t know how that was going to work. We went to practice, went through all the different things to help him grow and help me build confidence about what kind of player he really was. Once that confidence was built, it became a great twosome.”
Clearly, Jordan has always shown respect for Pippen. In fact, he took every opportunity to always praise Scottie Pippen and give him the credit he deserves. But Pippen and Jordan’s relationship has taken a drastic turn over the last year, especially after many of the comments Pippen made in his book about Jordan, including slamming MJ for 'The Last Dance' docuseries.
Recently, former Bulls player Charles Oakley said that their relationship is over, that bridge having burned after Pippen’s comments. Dennis Rodman also noted that he was blindsided by Pippen’s comments about MJ in his book, as he never got a hint of animosity between the pair during his time.