By Shawn Muller–
Every franchise in professional sports has legends…athletes whose names are synonymous with being the best of the best during their time with the club.
Normally, when a player is recognized for his achievements on the playing field by the franchise he played for, his number is retired and hung from the rafters for fans of all generations to see. But there are times when a simple “number retirement” doesn’t do the player justice. His individual accomplishments, coupled with the success he helped bring to the franchise during his playing days, are just too great to be ignored.
This type of player deserves more.
He deserves a statue in his honor.
While Michael Jordan was honored with a statue before he was even done playing for the Chicago Bulls, no other player in franchise history deserved to have a bust of his likeness grace the halls of the United Center more than Scottie Pippen.
Finally, this honor has become a reality for number 33.
There is no denying–in my view anyway–that Michael Jordan was the greatest player to ever play the game. That is pretty much a given. But for as great as Michael Jordan was, there is absolutely no way he leads the Bulls to one of the most dominating decades in the history of the NBA, without the help of “Pip.”
Easily one of the best small forwards of all-time, Scottie was the perfect complement to Jordan on the basketball court…the Robin to MJ’s Batman if you will. While he has always been known best as the sidekick to MJ, Pippen put up numbers that were as impressive as any other player in the league during his time…with or without Michael by his side:
- Eight-time All-Defensive First Team
- Three time All-NBA First Team
- Seven-Time NBA All-Star
- All-Star Game MVP
- Named to the “50 Greatest Players in NBA History” list
- Member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Many people were guilty of believing that Pippen was the player that he was because he played with Michael. While this may be true to a certain extent, at what point does one see that maybe Jordan was the player he was because of Pippen?
Both players had the luxury of teaming up with someone who would make defenses cringe at the thought of who to guard. If you spent too much time focusing on Michael, Scottie would make you pay…and vise versa.
Simply put, each player brought out the best in one another.
There is no way the Bulls win six championships (and probably at least two more if MJ didn’t take a baseball “breather”) without both players on the floor together. MJ and Scottie were the Yin and Yang and the Alpha and the Omega on the court. You just can’t have one without the other, and it is fitting that both men will be immortalized together at the building they both helped build.
“Brothers in Bronze” for all-time at the United Center.
Sounds good to me.
Congratulations Scottie…you deserved to have your night in the spotlight.
Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24.