On Friday night, Scottie Pippen, already heralded as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, will be granted perhaps the greatest honor of his life when he is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
He will be introduced by Michael Jordan, his more-heralded teammate on the six championship teams that Pippen was a part of in Chicago. Unfortunately for Pippen, MJ is likely to steal the spotlight, leaving Scottie to occupy the subheadings—fitting, considering Pippen always played second fiddle to Jordan, even when The Jumpman himself "jumped" to the Chicago White Sox for two ill-fated seasons in baseball's minor leagues.
Nevertheless, Pippen will soon be included among basketball's Pantheon, which honors multitudes of the game's Batmans and Robins across generations of ballplayers. The big question is: where does Pippen rank among the all-time best sidekicks in NBA history?
Now, there have been plenty of great duos where both players were leading men—John Stockton and Karl Malone, Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar—or both turned out to be "Alpha Dogs"—Kobe and Shaq, Tim Duncan and David Robinson. Those pairings necessitate an entirely different discussion. For now, here are five of the greatest players who made Hall of Fame careers out of assisting legends, in no particular order.