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In their primes, which 90's sidekick was the WORST passer among this group?

  • Gary Payton

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  • John Stockton

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  • Tim Hardaway

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  • Penny Hardaway

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  • Kevin Johnson

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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Pippen was a 5-6 assist guy, while Stockton, Payton, KJ, and Tim Hardaway were 10-15 assist guys.

This large gap demonstrates that Pippen is the worst passer of the group, while also having the worst efficiency ever for a playoff run of 15 games or longer and 35 minutes per game - he did this twice:

https://i.ibb.co/qBBHvB1/chrome-d-EXe-R4x-E8t.jpg

So given that Pippen had the worst passing and efficiency of any notable 90's sidekick, it's clear that people have it backwards - instead of saying that MJ "needed" Pippen, MJ should be praised for needing less passing and scoring help than his peers had.

A study of Pippen's playoff series shows that there are zero examples of him playing above a prime-Iggy or Wiggins-caliber, but the winning spotlight inflated him to all-time status.. Pippen averaged 17.6 on 41% for the entire 96-98' Playoffs and 19.0 on 42% in 6 Finals, while being 0/6 in FMVP - he's actually 0/6 in matching Horry's gamescore from the 95' Finals and was drastically outplayed by Reggie Miller 5/5 times when they faced the same playoff opponent.. These are just a couple gauges of Pippen's secondary level of production, which requires the 1st option to defeat maximum defensive attention (carry scoring load) - that's what differentiates MJ from other 1st options - he had to defeat maximum defensive attention for his entire career, as Kenny Smith explains here:


Accordingly, the proper way to perceive MJ and Pippen is that MJ was simply good enough to win with Pippen's decade-worst passing and efficiency among 90's sidekicks - the resulting winning spotlight is why Pippen started making All-NBA in 1992 (5th season).. Compare this trajectory to Jamal Murray from the 2020 Playoffs - Jokic wasn't good enough to win with Murray's 27/5/7 on 63% true shooting, so Murray wasn't elevated to media accolade thereafter like Pippen.. This is just a simple example but it applies to anyone that fails to win with Iggy-caliber help from the sidekick.
 
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