Originally Posted by RoseCity07
A cab driver in downtown Portland told me what a jack ass Pippen was when it came time to pay the driver. Pippen asked if the ride was saying things like "do you know who I am, I'm Scottie Pippen". He told me a few great players that tipped well. Jermaine O'neal was mentioned as most generous.
In Chicago, Scottie was known as "No tippin' Pippen". I used to work in River North, and I’d hang out and talk hoops with a buddy of mine who worked the booth at the parking lot near my building. He grew up on the same block as Juwan Howard and is best considered an “acquaintance” because Juwan was a bit older than him, it’s not like they hung out or anything. But he’s played a few pickup games with him and other Chicago players, especially down at Harold Washington. This was back in 2000-2001, and the parking lot was directly across Wells street from the Hooters there. There were always NBA guys that hung out at that Hooters, I personally met Michael Finley and Randy Brown there. It was when Finley was a free agent, right before Dallas signed him to that mega huge contract, and we both were telling him he needed to come back to Chi!
But anyway, back to Pippen.. He has a -horrible- reputation with drivers, parking attendants, waiters, etc., because he’s a -real- penny pincher and he was always really arrogant and standoffish towards everyone.
As for the infamous 1.8 seconds, you have to take a couple extra things into account to understand why Scottie reacted the way he did. These don’t justify his actions, but these definitely help explain the story a bit more.
Krause had been chasing Kukoc for three or four years at that point instead of trying to recruit a veteran that could help out the team. Krause was convinced that Kukoc was the greatest thing since sliced bread. By the time Kukoc finally came to Chicago, the rest of the team already had a bad impression of him because nobody ever liked Krause, they were sick of hearing about Kukoc and were a bit miffed that he held out signing for as long as he did.
When Jordan left, Pippen was left to be the man. He felt it was his right to get the last shot, something Jordan always got. He felt it was his right to get a lot of the things only Jordan got prior to that. When Horace Grant left, they tried to make Scottie play a bit of power forward at times, and asked him to concentrate more on his rebounding, which to Scottie took as basically a demotion. He wanted to Jordan’s role, the Bulls wanted him to take Grant’s role. Scottie just isn’t a power forward even though his height and wingspan could allow him to pull off the position against certain power forwards. He felt he’d be more prone to injury banging around trying to get rebounds, and most of all, he felt that he was underpaid. He had signed a long-term, relatively low dollar contract that the Bulls front office refused to negotiate. Scottie was always concerned about getting seriously injured to the point where it would diminish his skills, and wouldn’t have financial security if he didn’t sign long term. So when Jordan and Grant left, and he was asked to do everything, he was making peanuts while doing it. Later on, when Jordan came back, Pippen delayed his back surgery and played in Jordan’s celebrity game, which Krause told Pippen he was not allowed to do. So there were plenty of tensions between Pippen and the Bulls front office over the years, and neither side was innocent. Pippen signed a contract, he was quite immature with how he handled things, and Krause’s shortcomings (pun intended) were well known.
All of this set the stage for Pippen to eventually get fed up and say “**** this”. When he finally gets a chance to take the last shot in a game, and Jackson gives that last shot to Krause’s golden boy, that was just the last straw for Pippen and he blew up about it.
Although I was a huge Bulls fan, I really didn’t like Scottie very much. I didn’t dislike him, but he wasn’t one of my favorites. When he refused to go in the game, to me it was just to be expected. It was only a matter of time before he through a tantrum.
As far as the question of whether the play was a good play or not, in my opinion, relying on Toni Kukoc is -never- a good thing, but Phil Jackson likes to test his players as well, he likes to put them in a position where they have to persevere. In the case of this final play, he showed Kukoc that he had enough confidence in him to take that shot, which built up Kukoc’s confidence, something that was always lacking. He put trust in Pippen to not be selfish and be a leader by deferring to his teammates, something that he always had done with Jordan and in many people’s eyes was the key to the success of the team.
However, this might sound odd, but I think Pippen being on the bench helped that play be successful. When the other team is down and there’s 1.8 seconds to go, you assume the play is going to involve their best player in some way, but what do you assume when their best player is available but sitting on the bench? That might’ve thrown the Knicks for a bit of a loop. If he was inbounding the ball, they may have expected him to get the ball back after he inbounded and would’ve been a good decoy, but it’s possible that he made just as good of a decoy sitting on the bench.
Again, in my opinion it wasn’t a very good play, but Jackson isn’t the type of guy to make the safe call. He’s going to play hunches, he’s going to improvise and fly by the seat of his pants. Most of the time, they’re good decisions. One can question the wisdom of this play, and had Kukoc’s shot bricked out you’d be looking at things -way- differently. The shot going in does not make the play a good one, it makes the perception of the play a good one.