By all accounts, Michael Jeffrey Jordan is among the greatest athletes in history. Considering his all-around skill set, pure dominance, and impeccable resume, there really is no overstating his greatness.
So when former Bulls guard Toni Kukoc was asked who his favorite teammate was, everyone naturally expected him to pick Jordan, who had the entire world mesmerized by his swagger at the time.
In his chat with Sam Smith of NBA.com, however, Kukoc pegged Scottie Pippen, not MJ, as his greatest teammate ever.
“I always say Michael probably was the best player,” said Kukoc. “Scottie, to me, was as important as Michael. Because of that idea that Scottie was taking care of the whole team and was guarding people. He would bring the ball up and would find the right people and then for Michael it was, ‘OK, take us home.'”
There have been others to express similar appreciation for Scottie as not only a talented player, but also a fearless leader who stepped up and did whatever the team needed him to do.
That's not to say that Michael didn't make his own impact, though.
“In every way possible,” Kukoc said, when asked how Jordan influenced him. “He wasn’t the nicest of teammates. But in a way, he was pushing everybody to practice good.”
Those 90s Bulls were an interesting bunch. Featuring MJ, Pippen, Kukoc, and a host of other great players, the roster included many types of playstyles and personalities.
Say what you want about any of those guys, but there is no arguing with the results. To win 6 titles in a span of 8 years is an extraordinary feat, and may never happen again.
And while Jordan often gets credited the most for his part in the run, it's clear that Pippen was also a very important player for that team.