Originally posted by Stockton
im not saying he was a useless player, im just saying that it is quite possible that jordon was a big reason he had the amount of success in the nba that he did.
Actually, Scottie was a big reason for Jordan's success.
Jordan played 15 seasons, and played on 10 teams with winning records.
The five years that Jordan played on losing teams correspond to the five years he played without Pippen as a teammate .
1986 30-52 (Jordan only played 18 games due to injury, but the Bulls would have had a losing record anyway)
Jordan was also 1-9 during the playoffs, getting swept twice and losing in 4 games in 1985, his rookie year.
During Jordan's first retirement, with Pippen leading the way:
Pippen was 11-9 in the playoffs, losing in the 2nd round each time.
Jordan's other two losing teams, of course, were the Wizards. He led them to 37-45 records in 2002 and 2003, before retiring for a 3rd time.
Pippen's only losing team in his 17 seasons was the Bulls of 2004, his final season. They finished 23-59, but Pippen only played 23 games before retiring due to injuries.
Scottie did quite well for himself. He was actually the key to the Bulls first three peat, because it wasn't until he really asserted himself on the court that they starting winning championships. Early in his career, the Pistons took advantage of the fact that he could be intimidated with overly physical play, and the Pistons focused on that during the playoffs.
No question that Jordan did "help" him by forcing him to become more aggressive and to play through the physical tactics being used against him (easy for Michael to say, since no one would have gotten away with playing HIM that physically). But it's also true that Pippen was a lot more valuable to those Bulls teams than anyone, especially ESPN, give him credit for.
In 1991, the Bulls beat the Lakers in the finals in five games. Jordan was assigned to guard Magic as the series started. Magic destroyed Jordan by taking him down low, and the Lakers won the first game in Chicago... Sam Perkins nailed a 3 pointer with 3 seconds left to give the Lakers a one point lead... Jordan then missed the potential game winning shot, a 15 footer from the key.
In game two, Magic drew three quick fouls on Jordan. Phil Jackson then switched Pippen over to Magic, and put Michael on James Worthy, who was playing with a badly sprained ankle. (Worthy would sit out the fifth and final game of the series, as would Byron Scott). Now, with a lot less defensive responsibility, and able to stay out of further foul trouble, Jordan led the Bulls to relatively easy wins in the next four games.
Michael did (deservedly) win MVP of the finals, and I think the Bulls would have probably beaten the Lakers anyway, because they were a better team, especially with Worthy hurt... but Pippen was hardly just along for the ride during those years.