Wednesday, January 02, 2008

G.O.A.T. vs Pip - The Redux

Ahh yeah, the infamous Pippen-Jordan discussion that was sparked by our good friend SML. When you get Realist going about the Bulls, that passion bubbles to the surface:)

Gangsta D:

What sayeth Senor Realist about this ode to Pippen?

I should preface this post by reminding everyone that Jordan is one of, if not the, greatest basketball players of all time, and this is not suppose to diminish his accomplishments or achievements. It's suppose to be a reminder, if anything, that great players may be great in any setting, but to become the type of star that dominates the game like Jordan did, you have to have some help. Pippen was more than just a role player, damn it. He was one of the greatest talents we'll ever see in our lives, too. But he's destined to be underappreciated.
Da Realist:

I agree with most of his points. Pippen was a great all-around player and never gets his due. jordan's star shined so brilliantly that even someone of Pippen's caliber gets lost in it sometimes.

But where we differ is "Replace Jordan with a comparable SG at the time"... there IS NO comparable sg at that time or at any time. Let's not do the opposite -- diminish Jordan to enhance Pippen. There still are 2 different roles here. It's disrespectful to call Pippen a "second banana" but it's idiotic to ignore the fact that jordan did what he did as the primary focus of the entire league every single night.

As much as Pippen allowed jordan to be jordan -- check the numbers (this from a guy that hates citing statistics) -- jordan allowed pippen to be pippen. Look at the astronomical numbers Jordan posted pre-1990 on both ends of the floor and compare them to the relatively "pedestrian" numbers he posted from that point on.

And about the notion of Jordan only winning as a second banana if there was no pippen... go back and look at tape. you tell me if you think jordan would have kept being denied year after year as the alpha dog in the nba without Pippen. He pushed the world champs to 7 games in 90 with virtually no help from Pippen. Would he have won 6 without pip? NO, but he would have won at least a couple.

Every great superstar needs help to win titles. Look at those Celtics and Lakers teams that larry and magic had the pleasure of playing with. No one denies that Magic was the man for the lakers. Sure Kareem and James worthy were big time players on that team, but they were not MAGIC. Same with the celtics. Why does everyone talk about Bird and not Mchale? Because no matter how good Mchale was, he was not Larry Bird. Even when michael cooper made larry look ordinary, it was still larry's team. joe dumars even won a finals mvp, but is there any doubt whatsoever who was the man for the pistons?

Pippen should get more due. He was a great player and one of the greatest all around players the nba has ever seen. But he was not Michael Jordan. And there is no comparable player.


well said Realist...

Another thing to bring up about lack of credit is people tend to remember the incidents in '94 (when he refused to go back into the game) and '99 (when he ripped Barkley before camp opened). Plus post Bulls era, he didnt help any of the teams he was on, get over the hump, or show the leadership that folks expected. I think either was unfair to Pip as in his prime, he was phenomenal. A great defensive player and basically did everything that was asked of him.

SML's response from the comments:


Hey, nice response guys!

I admit the "comparable SG" was silly; you are right, there aren't/weren't any comparable SG.

...look at the astronomical numbers jordan posted pre-1990 on both ends of the floor and compare them to the relatively "pedestrian" numbers he posted from that point on.

In Jordan's last pre-Pippen season, he averaged 37.1 ppg; in Pippen's first season Jordan's "pedestrian" number drop to 35 ppg; every other stat - rpg, apg, bpg, spg - all improved with Pippen's addition. Even the season after that - Pip's 2nd - when Pippen became a starter, Jordan's average "dipped" to 32.5 ppg, but his apg went up to a career high 8.0, and his other stats were equally as impressive. Point being Jordan's numbers weren't hurt or effected much by Pippen's presence. In fact, Jordan's FG% went up, and though he took less shots, he made about the same number of FGs. His FTA is what dipped the most, because he no longer had to post as much with Pippen down low.

he pushed the world champs to 7 games in 90 with virtually no help from pippen

True, but Pippen did even better without Jordan. He should have beat the Knicks in 94 without Jordan, and only a bad call in Game 5 sunk the Bulls against the team that always gave them the most problems (the Knicks). Believe me, that's coming from a Knicks fan... Pippen proved his value there.

It's an interesting debate, I admit that... thanks for your feedback.

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