Many believe Scottie Pippen would have put himself in the conversation as the greatest NBA player of all time had he not played with Michael Jordan.
Pippen has indicated in the past he believes that to be true, so it would only be natural for him to feel some bitterness about all the attention Jordan gets.
According to Jordan’s agent, Pippen has always been downright jealous.
David Falk, Jordan’s longtime agent, joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan in Washington this week to discuss ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary series. Falk has seen the entire 10-part series, and apparently Pippen shows a jealous side in the episodes that have yet to air. Falk alluded to that.
“Pippen has a certain level of jealousy towards Michael,” Falk said, as transcribed by Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “He has said recently many times he thinks LeBron’s a better player. Now, if you’re Scottie Pippen, and Michael Jordan made your career, completely made your career; even if you think that, keep it to yourself.”
We’ll have to wait to see if Pippen made any Jordan-LeBron James comparisons in the documentary, but Pippen said several years ago that LeBron may be the greatest player ever. His opinion was that Jordan has a better legacy and is a better winner, but LeBron may be more talented.
As Falk sees it, Pippen was never a great competitor. The agent pointed to the fact that Jordan had one of the best games of his career while battling the flu, and Pippen missed Game 7 of the 1990 Eastern Conference Finals because of a migraine.
“Scottie’s problem, as the documentary points out in so many different places after the episodes you’ve seen, is that he wasn’t a great competitor,” Falk said. “There were times for silly reasons. The migraine; you think that Michael Jordan (would do that) unless he had his leg amputated?”
We’ll never know what Pippen’s career would have looked like had he not played with Jordan. However, the way Pippen has compared himself to some of the greats indicates he believes his legacy may have been harmed by the fact that he was Jordan’s sidekick.
Pippen, who is in the basketball Hall of Fame, almost certainly wouldn’t have won six NBA titles without MJ, but his career would be viewed differently if he was the No. 1 guy on a championship team. That never happened for him.
In 1996, Pippen was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history and was named eight times to the NBA All-Defensive First Team.