Recently Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show and the two discussed several topics. However, what caught my eye was that Pippen is clearly not happy with the public perception of him as being Michael Jordan’s sidekick or his Robin to Jordan’s Batman.
It also happened again during the Shaq and Kobe area, which later led to the Lakers trading Shaq to Miami.
After watching Pippen on The Dan Patrick Show and reading the his Interview with GQ Magazine. I decided to reach out NBA Insider, Champ to get his opinion on Pippen’s appearance. I also asked him about the sidekick and Robin label, that has followed the Hall of Famer, well past his time in Chicago.
“Well, I actually watched The Dan Patrick Show this morning and I was like wow, Scottie [Pippen] is finally talking about what is really bothering him. Over the last 20 plus years. It seems to me that, he is hurt that he has been labeled as a sidekick. When he brought more to the game of basketball, which led me to say this, the name Scottie Pippen has been synonymous with not being the best,” said Champ.
“It’s like a second fiddle; you are not the chosen one; you are a nobody to a degree and diminishes everything you have ever accomplished because you were playing with someone superior to the game and anything else in life is Michael Jordan. So, when you look at it, this is where the national media changed. The birth of Michael Jordan and Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest player ever; Jordan has had the greatest championship run in the modern era. It is up for discussion because other individuals have others ahead of Michael Jordan.
I’m going to stick to the context of the conversation. The media were so electrified and amazed by the talent that Jordan brought to the NBA. The excitement, gym shoe sales, charisma, winning three-peating, and averaging 41 in the finals. Going back to when they said Clyde Drexler was just as good as him. He had six-three in the first half and gave Magic Johnson a shrug and said, what is this? My point is this, Scottie Pippen was trying to force his way to recognition. I remember going back to the 1994 All-Star Game when Jordan first left. Scottie Pippen took the game over and said I am going to win this MVP. I am going to take this game over and take every shot. I can play on the same level, and I am one of these great NBA players too. When you listen to him talk, you think about the 1.8 seconds people will say Phil Jackson was a genius,” Champ shared.
“However, the game was tied, so if Toni Kukoč misses the shot, you go overtime. I also thought it was disrespectful of Phil Jackson not to allow Scottie Pippen to take the shot because he did all the dirty work through the years, and it was his team. Scottie Pippen felt that he deserved that opportunity. That moment was used to bust Phil Jackson as a great coach. However, when you listen to the media, and they use the word robin to this person. We never heard that conversation when Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar were winning championships, that one of them was robin or James Worthy was the third wheel.”
He would continue:
“Could you imagine if First Take and Undisputed were going on right now, and Cornbread Maxwell won the Finals MVP, or Joe Dumars was the Finals MVP in this day and age? And they label and discredit a Larry Bird or an Isiah Thomas to boost another guy. It all started when they placed Scottie Pippen in a mediocre role. The icing on the cake was when they tried to diminish the great Kobe Bryant by calling him a sidekick to Shaq—taking his great performance in game seven in 2000, when he led the team in almost every statically category. He would contribute to the following two championships as well, but Shaq was named Finals MVP. Being labeled a sidekick causes problems in players’ camps, the front office and causes people to be traded. And No one wants to talk about that apart. So I’m going to leave people with this. Imagine if Mark Jackson said Steph Curry is the greatest shooter of all time and Klay Thompson is his robin. Do you think Golden State became champions before Kevin Durant came to Golden State?”