In Defense of Scottie Pippen

ChendaddyCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2010
Scottie Pippen. (Steve Lipofsky/
Nike Air Pippens. Still got'em! (The NBA from the Cheap Seats)
Not a clue on either side of this table. (ESPN)
  • Elgin Baylor 25-10-5. First-team All-NBA, All-Star. His Lakers lost in seven in the Finals to the Boston Celtics. Jordanesque, though Jerry West was clearly the leader on that team, and they also got a 20-20 year out of Wilt Chamberlain.
  • Jerry West 23-4-9. Trailed only Gail Goodrich on his team for points but led it in assists. First-team All-NBA, All-Star. His Lakers lost in the Finals to the New York Knicks. So far so good!
  • Oscar Robertson 16-5-8. Fourth highest scorer on his team, though he did lead it in assists. His Milwaukee Bucks lost in the playoff semifinals to the Golden State Warriors. Bit of a drop-off now.
  • John Havlicek 19-6-5. Played all 82 games. Second-team All-NBA, first-team All-Defense, All-Star. Helped the Dave Cowens Celtics to the Conference Finals, where they lost to the Bullets.
  • Earl Monroe 12-3-1. Came off the bench, and played only the eighth most minutes. His Knicks didn’t make the playoffs.
  • Rick Barry 14-6-4. Acted as facilitator for the Moses Malone/Calvin Murphy/Rudy Tomjanovich Houston Rockets that got swept by the Hawks in the first round.
  • Julius Erving 20-5-3. All-Star. Helped a stacked Philadelphia 76ers team with Moses Malone and Andrew Toney in their primes plus rookie Charles Barkley to the Conference Finals, where they lost to the Celtics.
  • Adrian Dantley 6-1-1. Played only 10 games for the Milwaukee Bucks.
  • Larry Bird 19-9-7. Led his team in minutes and points and was second in rebounds and assists, but missed 22 games. All Star. His Boston Celtics lost to the Pistons in the Semifinals.
  • Dominique Wilkins 24-6-2 for the Hawks before trade. 29-7-2 for the Clippers after. Still a scoring machine if no longer a highlight reel. Third-team All-NBA, All-Star. His Clippers did not make the playoffs.
  • Clyde Drexler 18-6-6. Third wheel for those Hakeem/Barkley Rockets, but he missed 20 games. All-Star. His Rockets lost in the Conference Finals that year to Utah.
  • Joe Dumars 13-4-1. His Pistons didn’t make the playoffs. 
  • Reggie Miller 18-3-2. Missed just one game. All-Star. Led Indiana Pacers team that lost in the Finals to the Lakers, though Jalen Rose carried an equal share of those Pacers. Reggie isn’t HOF yet, but he played in the same era and just happened not to retire until later.
  • James Worthy, George Gervin, and Pete Maravich were no longer playing in the NBA at 34.
The defensive-minded Pippen. (NBA)
  • Scottie Pippen 13-6-5. Played all 82 games. On that stacked Blazers team, he was second in minutes, second in assists, third in rebounds, and third in points. Second-team All-Defense. This is the Blazers team that had the infamous collapse in Game 7 of the Conference Finals against the Lakers and let a 17-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter.
It's Pippen's time!
(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)
(Andy Hayt/NBAE/Getty Images)