Scottie Pippen wanted to be a better player than Michael Jordan with Bulls
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen are arguably the greatest dynamic duo in NBA history. The Chicago Bulls won six championships during the ’90s and never lost in the NBA Finals. Jordan and Pippen were the two main cogs on those dominant Bulls teams, with Jordan being Batman and Pippen being Robin.
There was always this feeling, though, that Scottie Pippen wanted to have his own team and not live in the shadow of Michael Jordan. Pippen got that chance during the 1993-94 season. Jordan retired from basketball, leaving Pippen as the best player on the Bulls.
Scottie Pippen averaged 22.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game that season and guided the Bulls to a 55-27 record. The Hall of Famer always had a burning desire to prove he could be better than Michael Jordan, and that season provided an opportunity.
“There was something there to give me the confidence just to talk s**t,” Pippen said, via Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Heavy. “Just having that confidence in myself instilled more confidence. It didn’t put any pressure on myself. Our team bonded so well without Michael, as far as how players responded. We felt like our offense was made for the Knicks.
“We knew we could beat the Knicks without Michael.”
Despite Scottie Pippen having a stellar regular season and playoffs, the Bulls lost to the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in seven games. As good as Pippen was, he wasn’t able to close out games like Michael Jordan did.
Jordan returned to the Bulls in the 1994-95 season. Chicago lost to the Orlando Magic in the second round. They then won three straight championships, two over the Utah Jazz and one over the Seattle SuperSonics.