Skip to main content

Scottie Pippen Says He Always Wondered What Would Have Been If He Played With Shaquille O'Neal And Kobe Bryant

Scottie Pippen Says He Always Wondered What Would Have Been If He Played With Shaquille O'Neal And Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal were widely viewed as one of the greatest basketball duos of all time. They complemented each other perfectly, dominated the early 2000s during their time on the Los Angeles Lakers, and won a 3-peat together. They will always be one of the most iconic partnerships remembered by basketball fans.

While the Los Angeles Lakers were really good during that era, there was potential for them to be even better. There was once an opportunity for the Los Angeles Lakers to form a superteam with Scottie Pippen, but they passed on him due to his large contract, which would rob them of any flexibility for the future.

"Scottie is just a great player and certainly for a year or two it would've been the right thing to do," he said. "We would've probably done it had he not had a four-year contract."

"When you take him, you're basically saying this is our personnel for the next four years," he said. "Right now we have a lot more leeway than that and I think we should maintain that leeway."

While obviously, the plan worked out for the Lakers, it's impossible to not wonder what the Los Angeles Lakers could have been by adding another Hall-of-Famer in Scottie Pippen. Scottie Pippen himself has recently claimed that he has always wondered what it would be like to join forces with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal on the Lakers in his recent memoir, Unguarded.

"Yes, I was soon on the move again. Not to Los Angeles. The owner, Dr. Jerry Buss, wasn’t willing to pick up the last year of my deal. I couldn’t blame him. He was already paying Shaq a fortune. I’ll always wonder what it would have been like to play with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. I might have been a Laker until I was forty." quoted Scottie [Unguarded Page 250]

This Los Angeles Lakers hypothetical superteam could have dominated the NBA for a while. Scottie Pippen would be put into a good position to succeed at that stage of his career next to two younger stars. While it's hard to surpass getting a 3 peat, it is possible that Pippen's addition could have given them that extra edge that would make them even greater.

Even though Scottie Pippen didn't end up teaming up with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant and winning more rings, he's still a legend in his own right from his time in the Chicago Bulls. His legacy is set in stone, but just like everyone else, Scottie Pippen sometimes wonders what could have been.