"You take Michael off that team, and Scottie moves down to fifth" – Larry Bird revealed his honest take on Scottie Pippen – Basketball Network


Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen
© RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
As a southern Indiana native, Larry Bird always rooted for the Pacers. But when it became clear that the Chicago Bulls were better than Indiana in the 90s, Larry Legend gave Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen the props. 
However, when it comes right down to it, Bird blatantly said it was MJ that made Pippen a great player.
“I believe he (Michael Jordan) had the second best player in the league right next to him in Scottie Pippen. You take Michael off that team, and Scottie moves down to fifth. But when Michael was out there with him, they were the best two in the league," Celtics legend wrote in his book "Bird Watching."
According to Bird, while it is true that Jordan and Pippen as a duo were unstoppable, it’s a completely different story when you take one guy out of the picture. 
Based on Bird’s assessment, Pippen played at his best alongside Jordan, but that wasn’t vice versa because Pip, without MJ, wouldn’t have been that lethal.
As it turned out, many could say Bird was right with his analysis, as everybody knows Pippen underachieved without Jordan. However, another Boston Celtics legend begged to disagree, and he has an interesting point to back it up.
For Paul Pierce, Pippen was also at the pinnacle of his career when he won six NBA championships with Jordan and the Bulls. And for a talented duo to be successful, “The Truth” stressed the other guy has to sacrifice, and that’s what Pippen did the entire time he co-piloted with MJ in Chicago.
"When you talk about dynamic duo, you both could probably be ‘the’ guy… the second guy has to sacrifice,” Pierce pointed out. “One of the guys had to swallow that pill, to not be ‘the’ guy. Over time, you look, and you’re like, ‘he got it’… Think about when [Michael] Jordan left [Scottie] Pippen, and Pippen was like a MVP candidate. He was good enough to be the [No.] 1 guy."
Regardless of whoever you side with in this story, the fact remains that Jordan and Pippen were both legendary, be it individually or as a duo.
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