Home > Commentary > Commentary: There Will Never Be Another Scottie Pippen

Commentary: There Will Never Be Another Scottie Pippen

For the past 15 years basketball enthusiasts across the world have united on a mad treasure hunt, eyes wide, in search of the next Michael Jordan. For analysts and writers who’re naive enough to believe this person exists or has yet to take his first dribble, stop and take a look here. Slowly process the information; let the incomprehensibility of these numbers seep through the eyes and into your brain. My mother used to tell me in an enlightened tone to “never say never”—that I’ll get burned every time. For the most part I agree with the adage. That being said, there will never be another Michael Jordan. Not in 10 years, not in 200…never.

Now on another, equally unfair level, people have been making “side-kick” comparisons to Scottie Pippen for just as long. Every time a modern day superstar comes along, whoever the team’s second best player is (unfortunately for him) gets measured against one of the greatest all-around players to ever take the court. People aren’t looking for the next Scottie Pippen with the same fervor as they do Jordan, but his place in history is as firmly cemented in its own way, as the greatest right hand man of all-time (I deliver this title with full admiration and the highest regard). Just as there will never be another Michael Jordan, no basketball player will ever match the varied skill set, mental resiliency, and overall, well-rounded ability that Scottie Pippen put on display for 15 memorable years.

Late last week, Horace Grant announced his belief that Carlos Boozer could become the Scottie Pippen to Derrick Rose’s Michael Jordan. From ESPNChicago:

…to take the next step toward becoming a perennial championship contender, Grant knows that the man who currently fills his old role as power forward, Carlos Boozer, must take another step in his progression and rebound from a lackluster postseason. “Boozer needs to be, for lack of a better phrase, Scottie Pippen to a Michael Jordan,” Grant said Friday morning after a breakfast at Dandenong Stadium.

This statement mixes delusion with visual impairment. Grant, who criticized Boozer for a lack of mental toughness/basketball ability during last year’s playoffs, is doing a complete 180 on that previously correct assertion. Obviously, he isn’t saying here that Boozer would be capable of switching positions and emulating the Hall of Fame point forward, but instead take the role of reliable secondary scoring option, and do-it-all everyman who consistently does the right thing, outside the spotlight.

When asked if he agreed that Boozer could fill a Scottie Pippen type role and eventually lead the Bulls to a championship, Ron Harper—a man of noted superior intelligence when compared to Horace Grant—had one word: No.


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