Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen created arguably the greatest duo in NBA history in Chicago, winning six championships together in the 90s. They had to work hard to reach the glory, losing many series' in the 80s against the teams that ruled the league at that time.
Once they got past the Detroit Pistons, it was over for the rest of the league. Jordan and Pippen went at it, destroyed opponents, and collected six championships in eight years. They won two three-peats while leaving a little window for Hakeem Olajuwon and his Houston Rockets, who won the NBA title in 1994 and 1995, respectively.
During those seasons, Michael Jordan was retired, trying his luck as a baseball player, joining a Chicago White Sox's minor-league team to pursue this new goal. At the time of his departure from the Chicago Bulls, Scottie Pippen had some things to say about him, showing his happiness of seeing his teammate give him the keys to the car.
Pippen knew he was the leader of the team after MJ left the game for the first time, and he was really enjoying that experience, even saying he was glad that His Airness retired.
Via The Athletic:
On Oct. 28, 1993, Scottie Pippen took what was his.
That was the night of Pippen’s first game without Michael Jordan, a meaningless preseason exhibition game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Before the game, with reporters in the locker room, Pippen emptied Jordan’s spacious double locker, combing through the detritus of a legend to comedic effect.
Pippen pulled out a Jordan T-shirt and asked the media, “Here, anyone want to dry their tears?” He found some old candy bars, musing that he might have to try them to see if he could get blessed with magical powers.
But mostly, he seemed happy to take over the prime real estate afford to a sporting king. The throne now belonged to Pippen.
“Michael, I love you, but I’m glad to see you go,” he said with a laugh, according to former Bulls beat writer Melissa Isaacson’s book on the post-Jordan Bulls, “Transition Game.”
Knowing how Pippen felt about Jordan after all these years, it's interesting to see how he reacted after his teammate and supposed friend retired from the game. Pippen had strong feelings about Mike and didn't hesitate to call him out and the way he treated teammates in his book. Moreover, Pippen said that he didn't like being called Jordan's sidekick.
During the 1993-94 season, with Jordan trying to solve the mysteries of baseball’s slider in the Southern League, Pippen earned his locker, taking the Bulls to the brink of the NBA Finals, finishing third in MVP voting and winning the All-Star Game MVP. The Bulls were a Hue Hollins phantom foul call on Pippen away from making a sixth-straight trip to the Eastern Conference finals. But Pippen also combusted at the worst possible time, earning him a black mark on a reputation he bristles at today.
Pippen thrived and suffered in that brief window of time where he had the spotlight to himself. Those who observed him saw the tension in Pippen’s world. He was, at times, resentful of Jordan’s imperious persona, but he played his role as the perfect partner — don’t say sidekick — to his more talented teammate.
“God, I hated that term and being referred to as Robin to his Batman,” he wrote in the prologue to his recent book, “Unguarded.”
It seems like Pippen had these feelings towards MJ for a long time, while the rest of the world was convinced they loved each other. Well, even though many people think things went wrong after The Last Dance premiered two years ago, it looks like Scottie held a big grudge against Michael even before that.
In one and a half seasons with the Bulls, Pippen couldn't lead them to the NBA Finals, and it wasn't until MJ returned that they went back to their old level, winning three more consecutive championships, confirming they were one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history. Just like he was happy to see him go, Pippen must have felt relieved after Jordan announced he was back.