Chapter 25: The dynamic duo of Jordan and Pippen
NBA history is filled with stories of great partnerships. Magic and Kareem, Malone and Stockton, Shaq and Kobe. But above all those pairs, the 1987 Chicago Bulls now possessed perhaps the greatest duo of all time. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Pippen was a relative unknown when he was drafted 5th overall by the Sonics. He had played in a small school in central Arkansas, and it wasn’t until after college was he noticed by NBA scouts. Once they saw him on the court, it was clear that this young man had the physical size, and athletic gifts to be successful in the NBA.
When he first joined the Bulls, Pippen was a soft spoken young man who had much to learn about the NBA. Lucky for him Bulls veterans like Charles Oakley were more than happy to teach the rookie a thing or two.
However, through hard work and learning from the best, Pippen quickly became an integral part of the Chicago Bulls. Before Pippen, opponents focused on stopping Michael Jordan as the key to winning against the Bulls. But with Pippen, opponents had no idea which man to cover. The Jordan Pippen duo would go on to dominate all opponents in the years to come.
Pippen went on to become one of the greatest players to have ever played in Chicago. He was voted as one of the NBA’s 50 greatest playersin 1996. His number 33 has since been retired from the Bulls.
Back in 1987, when Pippen was still a rookie and the Bulls still a nascent contender, no one knew what the long term prospects for the team was at the time, but there was a sense that something special was starting to happen.