Scottie Pippen on why he never won DPOY, how to guard Giannis and his all-time starting five

2022-05-02 10:08
Credit: AFP - Scanpix
Credit AFP - Scanpix

In a new interview, Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen expressed frustration with the media for the fact that he never won the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) award, suggesting that teammate Michael Jordan took the focus off his efforts.

The Chicago Bulls legend caught up with Trash Talk's Bastien Fontanieu and opened up about his time in the league in promotion of his book 'Unguarded'.

When Pippen was asked "what happened" with him never earning the honor during his 17 years in the game, the Hall of Famer got honest.

Michael Jordan

Michael  Jordan
Position: SF, SG
Age: 59
Height: 199 cm
Weight: 98 kg
Birth place: United States of America

"I think they were too busy watching Michael (Jordan)," he said.

Elsewhere in the conversation, Pippen spoke about his thoughts on the current state of the NBA, and shared some defensive tips for young kids needing a little instruction.

"I would always lean on the wall for three to five minutes, put myself in a defensive stance, I sort of adapted wanting to be in that stance when I’m out on that basketball court," Pippen said.

"When I was a young kid, my coach used to tell me that I stood up too much, so I had to learn to play lower."

Last year, while promoting his book, Pippen spoke to SiriusXM and seemingly discredited Jordan's "Flu Game," asking if it was "easier to play with a herniated disc or to play with the flu."

“Well, I don't see many bad back games, but I do see flu games. Flu. Come on," he said.

During his 17 seasons in the NBA, Pippen took home 6 championships and was named an All-Star 7 times, despite never earning the DPOY title, which went to Dennis Rodman, David Robinson, and even his teammate Jordan during Pippen's time in the NBA.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist averaged 2.0 steals and 0.8 blocks throughout his career, and during the 1994-95 season with the Bulls, he saw a career-high average of 2.9 steals. 

Pippen also talked about some strategies one could use to slow Giannis Antetokounmpo down. 

"I think you have to try to force him out on the floor. When I mean out on the floor, you got to take him out of the paint, that's your first job. Not an easy task by any means. He's definitely a dominant player. Reminds me a lot of Shaq. But I'm going to say that he has a bit more range than what Shaq had," the Hall-of-Fame player maintains.

"I think physically you have to try and push Giannis out. I don't think I'm the guy that could guard Giannis, he's too big for me. I'd be more of the help or the double. You would have to put a big body on him, like Horace Grant, Dennis Rodman. He's a tall order," he argued.

Moreover, at the end of the interview, Pippen was asked to name his all-time starting lineup, and he came up with an interesting squad that included himself, some of the biggest rivals he faced in his career, as well as his best teammate ever.

"I will take myself, Michael Jordan, Magic," Pippen said before making a pause.

"Based on today's game, it would be position-less, right? So, give me Charles Barkley. I will stick with the older players. I take Shaq, I got a lot of offense."

Then, he changed his mind.

"You know what? Get rid of Barkley, give me Giannis. It's Giannis at the four, and then give me Shaq at the 5."

Watch the entire interview here:

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