Possibly the greatest “second banana” in NBA history, Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen is a first ballot member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Today, Scottie Pippen serves as Special Advisor to the President and COO for the team. He is probably the team’s number one ambassador, and he was on hand Monday for the ground-breaking of the Bulls new practice facility.
During the media session I had an exclusive with Scottie Pippen
On being elected to the Hall of Fame:
Scottie Pippen: “It is a great, great class. Karl Malone, the ’92 team to be a part of that team, Cynthia Cooper- who I believe is the face of the WNBA, really put the game on the map and got women’s basketball going in the right direction and brought some excitement to it as well.”
Pippen is widely regarded as a top 25 all-time player in NBA history, and the second greatest Bull in franchise history. He’s one of just four post NBA-ABA merger players to ever lead his team (’94 Bulls) in points, rebounds, steals, assists and blocks in the same season. He had a storied career which included seven All-Star appearances.
I asked Pippen about being honored at halftime of one of the most exciting NCAA title games in college basketball history. In between halves of the 2010 National Title game, Duke vs. Butler, Pippen and rest of the class was honored at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“It was a great Final Four and a great place to be honored, to be a part of what I think was one of the greatest Final Fours, and final game I’ve ever seen- just made it that much sweeter,” he answered.
Also joining him on that stage was the legendary Larry Bird, and since the ceremony took place in Indianapolis, you know the crowd reception was especially warm.
“Larry has always been a guy I’ve admired my whole career and before, any time I’m in his presence it’s a great feeling,” Pippen said.
Scottie Pippen has done some media broadcasting work. He’s not working for any outlet now, but he hasn’t ruled it out.
“I did it a little bit, but I didn’t stay in it long. I’m not taking it off the table. It was fun, it’s exciting,” Pippen replied.
Pippen also believes the new facility will help the team in recruiting new players:
“I definitely think it will attract free agents now that it’s in the city. It’s a state of the art facility, and hopefully at that time we’ll be able to grab some of the top free agents in the market as well,” Pippen said.
I concluded by asking what was his favorite thing about working out at the Berto Center was.
“It was easy, I didn’t have to worry about the traffic. Everything was pretty much consistent,” Pippen said.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net. (“Quasi-endorsed” by Philadelphia Eagles Coach Chip Kelly) He’s also an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and YardbarkerPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks