Scottie Pippen has been in the news a lot, bashing Michael Jordan but acknowledging that they had a wonderful run as teammates on the court in the same breath. Shaquille O'Neal had his moments playing against the duo, and he witnessed first-hand how great they are playing together.
O'Neal and Pippen have had a back-and-forth in the past after O'Neal made a bold claim that the five best Lakers will beat the five best Bulls. But it was never personal, as basketball players love to brag.
Things are a bit different this time, as O'Neal has directly addressed Pippen's claims. The six-time NBA champ once claimed that he was better than former teammate Jordan. According to Essentially Sports, O'Neal went off on hearing that, saying:
“He didn’t say that. He never said that. If that man say that in front of me, Imma hit him right in the esophagus. Yeah Imma drop him, do not finish that sentence."
Pippen has said several slanderous remarks in his memoir "Unguarded" as a response to Jordan's documentary, The Last Dance. According to Pippen, Jordan portrayed himself as the alpha and omega, and he was not comfortable with that.
Given, MJ won all six championships while playing with Pippen, but that does not take away from the fact that he was an elite-level scorer and is arguably the best to ever play the game.
To date, O'Neal remains one of the most dominant players in NBA history and has four championships to show for it. Although retired, he remains very involved with the league, as he is a panelist on "Inside The NBA" alongside Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith.
Every basketball player/fan knows how pivotal Pippen was to the Chicago Bulls dynasty, O'Neal inclusive. But claiming to be greater than His Airness is a stretch. Was Pippen a better defender? Definitely. Was he a better passer? You could say that. But the game of basketball revolves around winning, and there is no one better at that than MJ.