Throughout his career Scottie
Pippen was synonymous with Michael Jordan. Fittingly the two will join forces
again when Pippen is inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Pippen will be presented by his
former Chicago Bulls teammate when he is inducted into the Naismith Memorial
Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday in Springfield, Massachusetts. Each inductee
is presented by a current Hall of Famer. Jordan was enshrined last year.
“I can’t think of a better person
to do it,” Pippen said. “Michael is someone I shared my career with,
accomplishing most of what I have accomplished thus far. He was a great
team-mate, teacher and admirer. I figure if anyone deserves to be on the stage
with me, it’s him.
“I’m excited to have an opportunity
to be the first person that he has presented into the Hall of Fame.”
Pippen said he also considered
several other Hall of Famers to present him including Phil Jackson, Julius
Erving, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Moses Malone. However Jordan was his
Together, Pippen and Jordan
dominated the hardwood in the 1990s and accounted for six world championships
in eight seasons. Jordan shares an equal level of respect for Pippen. When
arguably the sport’s greatest player entered the Hall of Fame last year one of
the first people he recognised in his speech was Pippen.
“When we went into battle, I knew I
had someone to watch my back,” Jordan said. ”It didn’t take much for me and
Scottie when our opinions were asked to say we needed each other. We were
willing to make the best of the situation.”
Pippen will actually receive two
inductions into the Hall of Fame on Friday, one as an individual player and the
other as a member of the 1992 Dream Team. Karl Malone was part of that squad and
will be inducted by former New York Knicks centre Willis Reed. The 1960 US
Olympic team is also scheduled to be honoured.
Pippen states he is happy to be
among the greats who were already recognized.
“I’m happy to be there and get a
chance to experience what it’s like to go into the Hall of Fame. It means a
lot. It says I accomplished something in my life I wasn’t trying to accomplish.”