Michael Jordan: 10 Things We Wish He Would've Said About Scottie Pippen
When Scottie Pippen asked Michael Jordan to introduce him into the Hall of Fame, he took a huge leap of faith.
Sure, the dynamic duo avoided feuds along the way to claiming six NBA Championships together. They were never critical of each other publicly during their playing days and remain close to this day.
But as Michael Jordan reminded the world during his Hall of Fame induction speech last year in Springfield, he is arguably the world's most ruthless competitor and least forgiving athlete.
Here's a look at some of the strange and wonderful things Jordan could say when he introduces Pippen Friday night.
No. 10: I Can't Wait To Come Back Here When Toni is Inducted
Aside from bombarding Pippen with playoff jabs, Jordan could use his forum as another opportunity to lay down a remixed diss-track towards his former teammate Toni Kukoc.
Jordan and Pippen both hated Kukoc for a number of different reasons.
Even as Jordan was dominating the NBA, all Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause added was young Kukoc, a Croatian star who was supposedly a taller version of Larry Bird. And with that, reason No. 3,484 that Jordan hated Jerry Krause was born.
Pippen had his pal's back and also demonstrated a hatred of Kukoc, especially when Phil Jackson drew him up the chance to take the game-winning shot against the Knicks in Game Three of the 1994 Eastern Conference playoffs.
More on that in a bit.
No. 9: Man, I Have a Migrane, I Need to Sit Down
Scottie Pippen's famous migraine game against the Pistons will always be remembered. What better time to bring it up, right Mike?
The thuggish Pistons made a living out of clobbering the young Bulls during back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals meetings in 1989 and 1990, winning both times thanks in part to the famous "Jordan Rules."
So when Pippen couldn't contribute in Game Seven of the 1990 Eastern Conference Finals thanks to a severe migraine, he basically sealed the Bulls' fate. They couldn't win without him, no matter what Jordan did.
The Pistons extended the physical play to Pippen, using Bill Laimbeer and Dennis Rodman to rough up the Bulls forward whenever he drove to the basket. Prior to 1991, the strategy clearly had an impact, migraine or no migraine.
No. 8: Hue Hollins Was Right
In what was really a horrible Eastern Conference semifinals for Scottie Pippen for a variety of reasons, including a foul on Hubert Davis with 2.1 seconds remaining in Game Five that helped the Knicks win the game in bizarre fashion.
Pippen, and just about everybody else with a television, have long said that the call was dubious at best. But in an effort to poke fun at his former teammate, Jordan could break the news that he clearly fouled Davis.
Scottie would probably just laugh it off.
No. 7: You Couldn't Have Done It Without Me, Pip
Michael Jordan's ego is so incredibly large that he might find it within himself to take the opportunity to remind the basketball world about what happened during his brief retirement.
Pippen had his best overall NBA season in 1993-1994, the year after Jordan decided he would rather try to hit a curve ball than keep hoopin'. Pippen averaged 22.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.9 steals, won the NBA All-Star Game MVP, and was named All-NBA First Team while leading the Bulls to a 55-win season.
Not bad at all.
But in the end, Pippen's Bulls were exited by the rival Knicks in playoffs. For one reason or another, he never really won anything without Jordan.
No. 6: What Happened Against the Knicks, Pip?
Scottie Pippen's brilliant 1993-1994 season was overshadowed by one strange moment in the Eastern Conference semifinals against Pat Riley's Knicks. With 1.4 seconds remaining and the Bulls needing a basket to beat the Knicks in Chicago Stadium, Phil Jackson called timeout and drew up a play that would give 6'11" Toni Kukoc the last shot.
Pippen felt betrayed and took himself out of the game. From that point on, his reputation was tainted.
No. 5: You Were No Steve Kerr
For all of his famed passes to teammates in crunch time during his later years, Jordan never fed Pippen with a big pass late in the game.
The main reason for this was that Pippen was usually the one entering the ball to Jordan, but Scottie obviously showed little interest in taking big shots down the stretch.
Jordan has said repeatedly that with the game on the line, he would want nobody to take the last shot more than Steve Kerr.
No. 4: What Happened to All Your Money?
Michael Jordan's divorce settlement was more than Scottie Pippen made during his entire NBA career, which gives you an about just how rich His Airness is.
But Pippen did well for himself, making somewhere in the neighborhood of $120 million during his playing days.
And in case you haven't heard, he is almost broke.
In addition to a bevy of failed business investments, Pippen also owed U.S. Bank more than $5 million in principal surrounding a dispute over a broken Gulfstream jet he bought in 2001.
Pippen recently won $2 million in a lawsuit surrounding the infamous jet. He's doing better, but he isn't out of the woods yet.
Maybe he can take out a low-interest loan from Jordan.
No. 3: I Saved Your Legacy
Things were looking bleak for Pippen and the Bulls in 1994, the season after the playoff meltdown against the Knicks.
The team was fighting to stay above .500 when Jordan decided to stop riding those horrible buses around the South and return to the glitz and glamor of the NBA.
The Bulls surged as Jordan worked himself back into the fold, taking pressure off Pippen's shoulders and returning him to his customary second-fiddle position.
Pippen's role as Robin in the Bulls' final three-peat cemented his spot as one of the top-50 NBA players of all-time. Just don't talk about what happened in Houston or Portland.
No. 2: Scottie Was Better Than I Was
Imagine Jordan making that statement. Would it be genuine? And even if it was, would the crowd at Symphony Hall break out into a chorus or uproarious laughter?
In an effort to show class in the wake of last year's bizarre speech, Jordan could let his superlatives get the better of him and shower Scottie with heaps of praise.
No. 1: You Couldn't Guard Me
Do you really think Michael Jordan would allow himself to say that Scottie Pippen was better than he was, under any circumstances?
The one thing NBA fans never got the chance to see was if Pippen could have guarded Jordan when the two were in their primes. Before you start laughing at that notion, remember that the 10-time NBA All-Defensive selection made a living out of shutting down just about every great player in the league in the '90s.
So, in an effort to answer one of the biggest unanswered questions, Jordan could end his introductory speech by saying, "Just remember Scottie, you could never stop me."
It would hardly be surprising.