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.
We’re bringing it way back on this one. Jason Kidd, a first ballot Hall of Famer, two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner, and All-Generation point guard, is now 37-years-old. My how time flies. I know this clip of a much younger, capable, faster Kidd makes Mavericks fans sad (in last night’s loss to New Orleans, he missed all seven shots he took, scoring all three points from the free thrown line) but the Rowdy Roddy Frenchman currently waiting in the wings should spice that franchise up as the years pour by. Take a minute and reminisce greatness at its most divine hour. Jason Kidd not only crosses up Ron Harper—a man whose wingspan resembles a small couch—but almost like he’s thinking two steps ahead of the defense, reverses direction and blows by Scottie Pippen, a phenomenal one on one defender. Just a glorious move from a glorious player.
Last night’s rookie/sophomore/celebrity basketball amalgamation was pretty entertaining. Nothing crazy exciting happened (besides the John Wall to Blake Griffin bouncing alley-oop and those ridiculously blinding color coordinated socks) and as usual Saturday night’s festivities are what most interested people really want to see. Nevertheless, here are today’s mostly All-Star related links. Enjoy.
1) Trading places with Scottie Pippen could never be a bad thing; pulling off a little human body switcheroo around 8 p.m. last night would have made my life complete.
2) I’m all for betting on sports/gambling away 1-3 paychecks a month, but if this peaks your interest we’ve got a problem.
3) A running theme surrounding the league this season has been the “dirty” play of Kevin Garnett, and exactly how hated he’s become. Today, at All-Star weekend, he finally responded.
4) If you’re Harrison Barnes and wondering what situation you’ll find yourself in at 24, all you need to do is take a peek towards Atlanta. You’re getting shopped right now!
5) Actual Jonathan Abrams tweet from earlier today: “Dunk contest spoiler alert: Blake Griffin is planning to jump over a car tonight.”
1) If you haven’t seen the offensive flowcharts currently circulating throughout the internet, Shaky Ankles brings them to you today. Rajon Rondo (funny, but not haha funny), Ron Artest (definitely haha funny), and LeBron James are probably the most notable, but my personal favorite has to be Michael Beasley. It’s funny because it’s true.
2) They say a picture’s worth 1000 words. This one leaves me speechless.
3) SLAM magazine interviews Scottie Pippen, who says Jeff Van Gundy is an ass hole for daring to compare the Miami Heat with his Bulls. Pippen’s wife, Larsa, will be a character on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Miami which begins February 22. Coincidence?!?!?!
4) Shaky Ankles normally dishes the crossover related goods, but this block last night was too good to pass up. My only question is why do the Cleveland PA people still play The Godfather music for Mo Williams? To waste such a magnificent idea on such an un-magnificent player is sooooo Cleveland.
5) Jerry Sloan’s decision to step down as head coach of the Utah Jazz a few days ago was sad. Everyone can agree that all good things must come to an end, but what makes this situation particularly unsettling is the way it happened; the incessant rumors which threaten to sully Deron Williams and the unfortunate timing of it all. Because of this, Dime Magazine delivers a five most dysfunctional player-coach relationships in recent memory list.