Scottie Pippen on Playing Without Michael Jordan in 1994: ‘Some of the Most Fun I’ve Had Since Being in the NBA’

Published 11/20/2021, 11:30 AM EST
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – JUNE 11: Michael Jordan #23 and Scottie Pippen #33 of the Chicago Bulls celebrate after winning game five of the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz on June 11, 1997 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Andy Hayt/NBAE/Getty Images)


NBA fans generally consider Michael Jordan as one of the greatest players of all time. The Chicago Bulls legend dominated the NBA with the franchise alongside other NBA legends. The Bulls roster included the likes of Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and others coached by Phil Jackson.

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Recently, Jordan’s teammate Scottie Pippen revealed his experience when Jordan retired for the first time. He was speaking to GQ Sports’ Tyler Tynes about his new book called ‘Unguarded’. Pippen revealed that the season when Jordan took a short break stands out as one of Pippen’s most enjoyable seasons in the NBA.

Pippen said, “No, I don’t think it bothered me. I think that year, the ’94, part of the ’95, was probably some of my most-funnest seasons. We were very good from a team standpoint. We’re very unpredictable and it was just an enjoyable time to play the game. Probably, some of the most fun I’d had since being in the NBA.”

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Jordan announced his first spell of short-lived retirement on October 6, 1993. He cited a lost desire to play basketball and the tragic death of his father as the reasons behind the decision. Jordan entered the world of Minor League Baseball by signing with the Chicago White Sox on February 7, 1994.

It was then that Pippen emerged from Jordan’s shadows as he briefly turned into a talisman for the Bulls that season.

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The Bulls selected Jordan as the third overall pick of the 1984 NBA draft. He went on to win six NBA championships with the Bulls. Jordan remained a talismanic presence for the Bulls as he led them to two historic three-peat championships. He also won six NBA Finals MVP with the Bulls and was a five-time NBA MVP.

Michael Jordan and his retirement spells

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Athletes in professional sports leagues often find it challenging to sustain a long career at the elite levels due to the physical nature of sports.

Basketball requires such a high level of physical endurance and Michael Jordan felt the same way. The legendary Chicago Bulls team also got older and prone to injuries following their historic three-peat.

(Original Caption) Michael Jordan, forward for the Chicago Bulls, holding a basketball in the locker room.

Jordan played for the White Sox during his first spell of retirement. He once recorded a batting average of .202 with three home runs, 51 runs batted in, 30 stolen bases, and 114 strikeouts. Jordan returned to the Bulls in 1995 and guided them to another three-peat. One of basketball and the NBA’s greatest legends finally retired in his final season in 2003.

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Watch this story: The Infamous Wedding Dress, His Outfit in Jean-Claude Van Dammes Double-Team & Other Iconic Looks That Dennis Rodman Slayed

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Shalom Saldanha

139 articles

Shalom Saldanha is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his journalism degree, he has previously worked as a sports corresspondent for India Shorts/Business Upturn. A Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bucks fan, Shalom primarily got into the sport after discovering that he shared a mutual love for Arsenal with the 'Greek Freak'.

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