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Let us debate this thing until we can answer this question.

Could the Bulls have won 6 rings without Scottie Pippen. How important was Scottie to the overall scheme of the Bulls system. Could they have been just as successful without Scottie, with a small forward about 80% as good as him??

Is Scottie overrated, and a player that thrived because Jordan copped all the attention and defensive pressure, leaving Scottie to do his thing?? Did the double teams on Jordan help Scottie put up good solid numbers each year. Can we argue that since he was traded Scottie has struggled to lead teams and improve them, such as the Rockets and Blazers??

Was it all about Jordan or are we not giving enough credit to what Scottie gave to the Bulls each year. Is a valid argument the numbers that Scottie put up in the year Jordan was retired, proof that in his prime he was one of the greats, putting up 20, 8 and 6??

I cannot answer this question. But, there can be no doubt that Scottie was a great player and one of the best defenders, and great ballhandlers, but could another guy have done just as good a job as Scottie knowing that he had the greatest player of all time next to him??

Does Scottie get enough credit with what he did for the Bulls and in fact being underated?? Sure he was an all-around player but could Jordan have won without Scottie Pippen???
 

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IMHO - Pip was not overrated. Pippen was a top-50 player in his prime. Jordan would be lucky to win 3 championships let alone 6 unless he had another top 10 player instead of Pip.
 

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pip practically lead the blazers to the finals if not for the refs winning game 7 for the lakers in 2000, pip never gets any breaks from the refs when he leads his teams far in the playoffs
 

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Pippen was a huge factor in the Bulls championships, but Michael certainly could of won championships with a different main sidekick. How many? Who knows.

That is not taking anything away from Pippen. He was a great player on both ends of the floor and except for 1.9 seconds of his career was an unselfish player who only cared about winning. His effort on defense was unbelievable.

If Jordan would of had Karl Malone, whom Krause could of drafted but took Oakley instead, then he would of won. Other players could of possibly filled Pippen's importance on the team.

Ask the question the other way. Could Pippen have won a championship without Jordan?

Jordan was the greatest. No one could carry a team like Michael. In my opinion he could have won more championships, except management did a very poor job in Michael's early years to get better talent surrounding him.

Still, I loved that team and wouldn't change any of the past. They brought great joy and pride to the city of Chicago. And there is no doubt about the contributions of Pippen and his greatness. I really think that for all they did for the franchise, Scottie and Michael never should never of worn anything other than a Bulls uniform in their careers. It still hurts to see those two playing for other teams.

Unfortunately those days are a distant memory. Thank God for VCR's.
 

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The real question is, if Scottie Pippen came into the league and was not under Jordan, would he have been the same player?

Everyone remembers the huge favor Seattle did for us in the Polynice-Pippen trade (har har har). Imagine, for a moment, that such a trade never took place. Would Pippen still have been a top-50 elite level player?

I think so. I think he would have been a very DIFFERENT player... one of a different level of polish (more raw), etc. But his talent and skills are undeniable, and he would have burst onto the scene with any team that gave him good minutes.

But consider also that Jordan had quite a few running mates available in that year's draft, as well as the next few drafts (which, IMO, were pretty poor with the exception of Kukoc in the 2nd round of 1990). To answer the question, let's see what might have happened if in 87, they drafted McKey instead of Pippen. Derrick McKey was, in the prime of his career, a 14 ppg 6 rbs 1.2 stls kind of guy, but he plays strong defense that doesn't show up in his stats.

Then consider the great botched draft, 1989. With three draft picks in the first round (6, 18, 20), the Bulls drafted Stacey King, B.J. Armstrong, and Jeff Sanders. Of course, everyone makes draft mistakes but King was drafted above solid guards like George McCloud, Nick Anderson, Pooh Richardson, Mookie Blaylock, and Tim Hardaway. If the main concern was a big man, King was also drafted before Shawn Kemp, and Armstrong and Sanders were drafted before Divac and Cliff Robinson...

King and Armstrong certainly did okay for the Bulls first three-peat, but I think Tim Hardaway and Vlade Divac probably would have gotten the job done.

(By the way, in 1988, Will Perdue was selected before Thunder Dan and Rod Strickland... this was not the Bulls fault, so much, since big men are big men. Just FYI... Thunder Dan might have filled a Pippen-like role fairly adequately.)

The roster might have looked, then, like this:

Tim Hardaway
Michael Jordan
Shawn Kemp
Horace Grant
Bill Cartwright

Hahaha... I know, I KNOW. Playing the "what-if-they-drafted-differently" game is never a real indication of anything. But it's fun to wonder what was possible.

So the question: could Jordan have done it without Pippen? Well, assuming that the draft needs were consistent if we subbed in McKey for Pippen, I don't know if it would have been done. But had JK made a few decisions in a different direction, one never knows.

The question, in my mind, remains unanswered. There is no doubt that Pippen is a great player. The real question is, how integral were his SPECIFIC skills to the Bulls run?
 

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Re: Which team was better???

Originally posted by <b>kingofkings</b>!
1991 - 1993
Cartwright
Grant
Pippen
Jordan
Armstrong
Paxson
Perdue
Williams
Hansen
etc

or 1996 - 1998
Longley
Rodman
Pippen
Jordan
Harper
Kukoc
Kerr
Brown
Caffey
Buchler

Both teams are really similar with centres who were decent passers of the ball but by no means dominant. The power forward is another issue. Rodman probably better defender and rebounder, while Grant was the better offensive player with his ability to hit 15 foot jumpers and finish the play.

The record is better on the second team, but I want to ask you guys which team was better. or doesn't it matter since they both won championships.

The key to both championships, or the overlooked factor, were the power forwards, the muscle no nonsense guys who did all the dirty work and just took care of business. I believe that the addition of Rodman proved the spark for the second team to perform at a great level. Say what you want about him, but the numbers and production do not lie at all!!

Classic Bulls Memory
Remember that game when Pippen and Grant just kept blocking Charles Smith, in the dying seconds of that playoff game. I can just hear the commentator , Smith, Smith, Smith, Smith, Smith!!!!
I really think the first 3-peat had the better team. Michael and Scottie were in their prime, Cartwright was much better than Longley, and I would give Paxson's clutch shooting the edge over Harper's defense. The first 3-peat team was younger, higher scoring, incredible pressure defense, and maybe hungrier.

I also wouldn't give Rodman the edge over Grant defensively. Grant was a great defender in his prime, and I believe made the 2nd All-Defensive team a few times when he was with the Bulls. Rodman was a great defender in his prime when he could defend 2 guards and centers. The thing is, we didn't have Rodman in his prime and when he was with the Bulls he didn't give a great defensive effort in a lot of games when he was bored. In the playoffs he would bring his level of defense up, but he could no longer guard smaller players. He did a great job when defending Shaq in the 96 playoffs, but that really interested him. Too many times Rodman would give a lackluster effort on defense just so he could get in position to rebound. He would definitely have his mind on winning rebounding titles.

Rebounding-wise, Grant was a solid rebounder and a great offensive rebounder. Rodman, however, was probably the greatest pound for pound rebounder in NBA history. Incredible. When you see a guy 6 foot 6 rebounding like that, then see Eddy Curry struggling to get 5 boards a game, you realize it is technique, aggresiveness, and instinct more than it is size.

1991-1993 was the best team. The Pistons, Lakers, Knicks, and Cavaliers of those years were better than Indiana, Utah, and Seattle.

91-93 Bulls would win a series against the 96-98 Bulls in 6 games on another last second 3 pointer by Paxson.
 

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Let us debate this thing until we can answer this question.

Could the Bulls have won 6 rings without Scottie Pippen. How important was Scottie to the overall scheme of the Bulls system. Could they have been just as successful without Scottie, with a small forward about 80% as good as him??

Is Scottie overrated, and a player that thrived because Jordan copped all the attention and defensive pressure, leaving Scottie to do his thing?? Did the double teams on Jordan help Scottie put up good solid numbers each year. Can we argue that since he was traded Scottie has struggled to lead teams and improve them, such as the Rockets and Blazers??

Was it all about Jordan or are we not giving enough credit to what Scottie gave to the Bulls each year. Is a valid argument the numbers that Scottie put up in the year Jordan was retired, proof that in his prime he was one of the greats, putting up 20, 8 and 6??

I cannot answer this question. But, there can be no doubt that Scottie was a great player and one of the best defenders, and great ballhandlers, but could another guy have done just as good a job as Scottie knowing that he had the greatest player of all time next to him??

Does Scottie get enough credit with what he did for the Bulls and in fact being underated?? Sure he was an all-around player but could Jordan have won without Scottie Pippen???
My opinion, yes, but not a championship. But, I'm sure if Jordan got another talent around him that could score around him like Pippen he would have. If Toni Kukoc had come over right away, I believe Toni could've scored what Pippen did. I'm not the biggest Pippen fan, but he did bring a lot to this team.
 

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Re: Re: Which team was better???

Originally posted by <b>sinkingship</b>!

Rebounding-wise, Grant was a solid rebounder and a great offensive rebounder. Rodman, however, was probably the greatest pound for pound rebounder in NBA history. Incredible. When you see a guy 6 foot 6 rebounding like that, then see Eddy Curry struggling to get 5 boards a game, you realize it is technique, aggresiveness, and instinct more than it is size.
:yes: AMEN. Preach on, brotha.
 

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Lots of good posts in this thread already. I'm happy to see intelligent fans here who realize the importance of Pippen's contribution to the championship teams.

I just wanted to add a couple things.

1) In my opinion, an opinion shared by many others "in the know", Scottie Pippen was absolutely the best defensive player in the NBA during his prime, which included all 6 championship years and the years in between.

2) Scottie Pippen was one of the most unselfish players to ever play the game-- especially so for a front court player. He was the rare player who did not play point guard yet almost constantly thought "pass" first. Throughout the many books written about the Bulls championship teams, there are praises from teammates about how fun Pippen was to play with because of his willingness to share the ball. Steve Kerr to this day calls Pippen the best teammate he's ever played with.

3) Who's to say what would have happened had Pippen ended up with Seattle or another team besides the Bulls? Championship chemistry can be a very delicate balance. Two of the greatest players in the last 20 years, John Stockton and Karl Malone, never quite reached the summit in spite of their greatness. Another all-time great, Charles Barkley, played with "Thunder Dan" for 3 seasons and did not win it all (although he came close).

4) I think some people forget just how dominant Pippen was in 1993-94. Yet he was dominant without necessarily having to dominate the scoring like MJ did or like a guy like Iverson does today. That year, despite pre-season predictions that the Bulls would sink as low as 30 wins, they won 55, just 2 fewer games than the previous year-- this despite the fact Jordan announced his retirement on the eve of training camp which left the team little chance to prepare for life without him (and there was a huge adjustment period). People also forget that Bill Cartwright missed half the season that year with various nagging injuries. That year Pip was also a unanimous All-NBA selection and a unanimous All-Defensive Team selection. To my knowledge, that is the only time that has ever happened.

Obviously I'm a great fan of Scottie Pippen the basketball player. Unfortunately I'm not as great a fan of Scottie Pippen the person. He has had many well-documented cases of personal trouble that, fairly or not, has hurt his legacy as a player (especially when held up to the MJ standard in this area).
 

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I think if Jordan had a solid player playing alongside him rather than Pippen...I think Jordan COULD'VE won no more than three championships.

And as far as Pippen is concerned...I think Cartwright's injury woes back in the 1993-1994 had as much to do with the Bulls not advancing past the 2nd round of the playoffs as well as Pippen's 1.8 seconds incident.
 
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