Don’t forget Scottie Pippen also had a free-throw line dunk
How quickly people forget the greatness of Scottie Pippen. Forever living in the shadow that was Michael Jordan, people are quick to forget that Pippen himself also had game winners, MVP-caliber seasons and First-Team All-Defense selections.
It has also slipped people’s minds that Pippen could absolutely throw it down just as well as Jordan could. Jordan was known for his electrifying slam dunks and his most famous dunk from the free throw line, but don’t forget Pippen once dunked from the free throw line himself.
In truth, Pippen’s place in NBA folklore is somewhat disappointing when looking back on his career. He’s never received the credit he deserves because he played next to arguably the game’s greatest ever player in Jordan.
To this day the pair were most successful duo in NBA history, winning six NBA championships in six attempts. Pippen never won a Finals MVP but was definitely worthy of one during those title runs.
The small forward’s career numbers aren’t jaw-dropping, as he averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists for his 17-year career, but those numbers would been considerably higher if he ever chose to branch out and become a number one option himself elsewhere.
Content with playing Robin to the Bulls Batman in Jordan, Pippen also used to take the toughest defensive assignment on a nightly basis and was responsible for the majority of the ball handling duties.
We got a taste of what Pippen’s individual greatness could have been as the main man during the 1993/1994 NBA season whilst Jordan was retired. Not only did he throw down that free-throw line dunk, but he also won the All-Star game MVP, led the Bulls to a winning record and nearly NBA Finals, and finished third in MVP voting in the regular season.
He averaged 22 points per game, 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.9 per steals. In a lot of ways it was a shame we never got to see him more as the franchise leader, because his supreme athletic gifts accompanied by his incredibly high basketball IQ would have seen him collect many individual awards.
Its likely Pippen will never be remembered like he really should when looking back at the history of the NBA. He was a unique talent that would fit right into today’s game of versatile wing players who can do multiple things.
Be that as it may he is now happily retired with his six NBA rings and true NBA fans will always recognize how great he was. Don’t forget, he didn’t just dunk from the free-throw line like Jordan, but Jordan also never won a championship before his arrival either.