Scottie Pippen on Never Winning DPOY: 'They Were Too Busy Watching' Michael Jordan

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 1, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 08: SiriusXM Town Hall with Scottie Pippen on November 08, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Noam Galai/Getty Images for SiriusXM

If you've been following Scottie Pippen's quotes over the last year, you know two things:

  1. He feels he was underappreciated as a basketball player.
  2. He largely blames the attention given to Michael Jordan for the reason he was overlooked.

The Hall of Famer once again threw shade in the direction of his former teammate and the media, saying it was Jordan's fault he never won a Defensive Player of the Year award during his career.

“I think they were too busy watching Michael," Pippen told Trash Talk Production (around the 45-second mark). 

Jordan won Defensive Player of the Year in 1987-88, Pippen's first year with the Bulls, but it's hard to see His Airness as the main reason Pippen fell short over his career.

It would be more accurate to blame a general bias in the award's history to favor big men. After Jordan's win in 1987-88, there were only two non-bigs (Gary Payton in 1995-96 and Ron Artest in 2003-04) to take home the DPOY over the next 26 years.

Only in more recent seasons have perimeter players gotten a fairer shake when it comes to the award. 

So while it's fair that Pippen is upset about his lack of recognition—it's frankly jarring that he was never given his proper credit for his defensive brilliance—it's hard to blame this one on his more beloved teammate.