FOXSports.com’s NBA analyst Charley Rosen tackles that question and more in his latest mailbag. Here’s a snippet:
Pippen was an extraordinary team defender, but he was “only” a very good one-on-one defender. His ability to rotate, anticipate and provide judicious defensive help are very subtle endeavors that are beyond the ken of too many media folks.
He was an erratic 3-point shooter (32.6 percent lifetime) and could be counted on to force at least two trey attempts per game.
While Pippen was an empathetic and supportive teammate, he was frequently aloof, curt and unavailable to the media.
How often do second bananas get into the Hall of Fame? Especially since he only averaged 16.1 points per game for his career.
Most HOF voters are still unduly influenced by Pippen’s refusal to enter that infamous playoff game against the Knicks because Phil Jackson wanted him to be the inbounder and not the win-or-lose shot-taker. That’s why Pip has the undeserved reputation of being a selfish player.
There are plenty of “second bananas” in the Hall of Fame. Joe Dumars, who averaged 16.1 points with the Detroit Pistons, was enshrined in 2006. Not to mention Sam Jones, James Worthy, and Kevin McHale. Rosen questions Patrick Ewing and David Robinson HOF credentials, among others, and criticizes voters for focusing on numbers. Pippen’s career numbers are anything but stellar. However six rings, two gold medals, and multiple All-NBA and All-Defensive teams speak volumes. Pippen’s contributions deserve a space in Springfield.