Scottie Pippen is currently employed as ambassador by the Chicago Bulls, a position that seemingly entails that he sit in the front row of games, occasionally provide low-key commentating and smile as big as he can all the time. Not in the job description, one would assume, is consistently deriding the team that pays him.
Nonetheless, in the week that the Bulls have been eliminated, Pippen has said that LeBron James might be better than Michael Jordan and is on the attack again, this time bashing two Bulls starters. From ESPN:
“They made Derrick work too hard for his offense. That’s why he ended up shooting 9-for-29 [in Game 5 on Thursday night and 42-for-120 for the series],” Scottie Pippen said. [...]
“They hound [Rose] off the pick with two guys who are 6-9, so he has to make a pass,” Pippen told ESPNChicago.com. “And now you give it to a guy who can’t make a play. Derrick passes to Joakim, Joakim passes it back and now the shot clock is against him.
“How can you be efficient when you don’t even have to make the defense move or shift, because they’re not rotating to Joakim, they’re not doubling Boozer. You put a little traffic around Boozer, and he couldn’t hold on to the ball anyway. I don’t know if his toe was the cause of [some of his poor play], but it doesn’t explain bad hands. He didn’t perform.”
He also criticized Tom Thibodeau.
“Kurt’s number should have been called many, many games ago,” Pippen said. “We got to this point with Kurt Thomas, not without him. He’s a hard-nosed guy, he gives hard fouls, he carried minutes and was a starter during the season. And then in the postseason, we felt we could win with guys who could get us there but not guys who actually did get us there. It kind of downplayed what the bench did for us all season.”
Scottie Pippen sure is efficient. In less than a week he’s demeaned the best player of all-time, the Bulls’ highest paid player, their heart and soul, and their award-winning coach. With numbers like that, Scottie Pippen would probably say that he’s a better all-around insulter than Michael Jordan, who was just a great trash talker.
Unfortunately for Bulls fans, Pippen’s pretty much right about all of this. Joakim Noah failed to make plays in the Eastern Conference finals, Carlos Boozer was inconsequential when he wasn’t outright bad, and Tom Thibodeau probably should have played Kurt Thomas more than he did. Outside of the Jordan/LeBron thing, Pippen’s right about the problems the Bulls encountered, especially against the Heat.
The sucky thing is hearing it from Pippen. It’s bad enough to hear about all these things from a team’s second-best player ever, but it’s even worse to hear it from a guy who gets a paycheck to say good things about the team. If he were the ambassador for Lithuania, he’d probably tell everyone how bad Lithuanian food smells and that most people there have chronic arthritis.
Scottie Pippen doesn’t need to shut up (except for the Jordan/LeBron thing). He just needs to stop being so right about everything (except for the Jordan/LeBron thing).