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Scottie Pippen (1965)

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  Summary  

Scottie Pippen is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association . He is most remembered for his time with the Chicago Bulls, with whom he was instrumental in six NBA Championships and their record 1995–96 season of 72 wins. Pippen, along with Michael Jordan, played an important role in transforming the Bulls team into a vehicle for popularizing the NBA around the world during the 1990s.

Considered one of the best small forwards of all time, Pippen was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight times and the All-NBA First Team three times. He was a seven-time NBA All Star and was the NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1994. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History during the season, and is one of four players to have his jersey retired by the Chicago Bulls . During his seventeen-year career, he played twelve seasons with the Chicago Bulls, one with the Houston Rockets and four with the Portland Trail Blazers, making the postseason sixteen straight times. He is third on the list of most postseason games played, behind Robert Horry and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Pippen is also the only person to have won an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal in the same year twice . Pippen was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on August 13, 2010.

  Biography  

 early life
Scottie Pippen was born in Hamburg, Arkansas, and attended college at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. At the start of his college career, the then 6 ft 1 in Pippen was a walk-on for the now-former NAIA school and depended on his stipend for being the team manager and his summer job as a welder to fund his education. He eventually reached 6 ft 8 in . Pippen's 23.6 points per game average and near 60% field goal shooting earned the Central Arkansas senior Consensus NAIA all-American honors in 1987.

 legacy
Pippen is remembered as one of the most versatile and agile players, and perhaps most notably as one of the greatest defenders, to ever play the game of basketball. Much like fellow Bull Michael Jordan, Pippen could provide tenacious on-the-ball perimeter defense, or tough interior defense, and he was particularly effective as a help defender. He was gifted with extraordinary athleticism, even compared with other professional athletes, and skills in areas that bode well for basketball.

Pippen's unusually long arms and jumping agility gave him the ability to clog the passing lanes on defense, to block shots from behind on players that had managed to pass by him, to grab out-of-reach rebounds, to make unusual plays in mid-air, and to make passes around defenders that most players are physically unable to make. He often led the Bulls in assists and blocks as a result. Pippen was also a selfless player. His team-focused approach to the game was a key component in the Chicago Bulls’ championships. Pippen’s career assists total of 6,135 is a testament to that approach. It is the record among forwards and was 23rd all-time among all players when he retired .

His intensive work ethic and athletic physique gave him the ability to consistently make highlight-reel plays, such as applying defensive intensity, forcing a turnover, stealing the ball and starting a one-man fast break that he would finish with a thunderous slam dunk at the other end of the court. As Pippen himself has attested, he and Jordan would compete to see who could force more turnovers and produce more offense from defense in each game . During the 1990 Slam Dunk Contest, Scottie exhibited his leaping ability with a dunk from the free throw line. He was an athletic finisher at the rim, both with dunks and with a skillful finger roll shot that he added to his skill set over time. He was also a prolific perimeter shooter, taking about three thousand and making almost one thousand three-point shots in his career.

Pippen’s style of play is perhaps best illustrated by a play he made against the New York Knicks during Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals. While the Knicks had possession of the ball, Pippen pressured Hubert Davis with his defense on the perimeter and led him into a help defender in the paint, Horace Grant, who promptly rejected Davis’s shot. The blocked shot was rebounded by the Bulls and triggered a fast break. Pippen ran all-out down the court as the Bulls passed the ball around, and he received a bounce pass from Pete Myers to set up one of the most famous dunks in history. As Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing jumped up to defend the shot, Pippen jumped from the left block, fully extended the ball out in his right hand, absorbed body contact from Ewing, and slammed the ball through the hoop with Ewing’s hand in his face. Pippen landed several feet away from the basket along the right inbounds baseline, standing over a fallen Ewing.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Scottie Pippen", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.