Earlier this month, I released an article after former Chicago Bull and Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen was a guest on the Dan Patrick Show. Pippen talked about the public perception of him just being Michael Jordan Robin or a sidekick during his appearance.
He clearly was not happy during the appearance. Following the interview, I decided to look into Pippen’s interview with GQ and then elected to reach out to NBA Insider Champ to discuss the sidekick and Robin label, which has followed the six-time champ long after his playing days 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.
My article sparked a segment of ESPN’s First Take earlier this week. The panel of Stephen A Smith, Max Kellerman, Kendrick Perkins, and Molly Qerim Rose were discussing the NBA Finals, and Perkins’ tweet was featured. It referenced Bucks forward Khris Middleton as Batman.
“Batman saved 40 thousands lives tonight!!! When it matters the most, just put the basketball in KHRIS MIDDLETON’S Hands. Carry the hell on…, said Perkins.
Perkins would continue the narrative during the segment.
“When it matters the most, who are putting your money on? Moneymaking Middleton, the Batman, the closer. The guy that is going to get you those buckets. The guy that embraces that moment, and the world knows it, and Giannis Antetokounmpo knows it, Stephen A. Knows it, and Max knows it, right? ” Said, Perkins.
“This is when you know you are a batman. In the movie batman, they try to capture the villain, the police department tries to do everything they can, but who they call on to save the day, they call on Moneymaking Middleton of the batman of this team. But I’m not going to show Giannis some respect, I am going to call him a superman. I’m going to call Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo ‘The Justice League’ because Giannis got a historic block last night. I’m not going to disrespect him, but when it mattered most put your money on Moneymaking Middleton. Carry the hell on.”
Stephen A. Smith added, “I’m not sold, but I will say this one thing, I will reframe from calling anybody robin. I think that still haunts Scottie Pippen.”
On Friday afternoon, Champ shared, “The label robin is considered as the ultimate sign of disrespect in basketball.”
“For years, when people get on television or you get these positions or having conversations. You want to be right, and I think I fell into that gap for years. Now, I am just trying to change the conversation where, when you are talking about these players. You have to be very careful with the words that you use. These types of conversations have become so toxic and on the level, which is the NBA it lockers, and friendships on teams. You also have family, teammates, and friends going against other family members. All because folks on television are diving the team.”
He added, “They never labeled Kevin McHale a sidekick or a Robin. Robert Parrish was not labeled a third wheel, Dennis Johnson a fourth wheel, James Worth, or Joe Dumars. These conversations did not happen, and they did not pin Magic and Kareem against each other.
However, they discredited Scottie Pippen, and they crucified Kobe with Shaq. Now, you have a soap opera known as the NBA because of these words.”