Scottie Pippen: ‘No bonding or a relationship’ with Michael Jordan early on
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen are arguably the greatest duo to ever suit up as teammates in NBA history. But that does not mean their relationship off the court got off to a great start.
Pippen earlier this week made an appearance on EPSN’s “The Jump.” The revelation revealed recently by Toronto Raptors superstar DeMar DeRozan that he and teammate Kyle Lowry “didn’t say a word to one another” during their first year together was among the topics discussed.
Pippen relayed to host Rachel Nichols that he and Jordan had essentially no relationship at all in his first few years with the Chicago Bulls.
From #TheJump: DeMar Derozan says on the Woj pod that he and Kyle Lowry barely spoke their entire first season together. Not only is @ScottiePippen not shocked – he says it was the same for him and Michael Jordan at first. pic.twitter.com/aQDCEK1tRg
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) January 9, 2018
“It’s pretty common,” Pippen said of the uneasy dynamic that can arise among new teammates, as transcribed by Clutch Points. “When you’re on the court with guys so much and when you’re traveling so much with them so much year round, you kind of need that space to yourself when you get off the basketball court.
“I played with two guys that I was in that same situation. My first few years with Michael Jordan, I never hung out with him. I never had his phone number. He was at another level when I came into the league. Michael Jordan was already a megastar when I came into the NBA. There was no bonding or a relationship for my first almost two years there.”
Jordan and Pippen of course went on to accomplish phenomenal things as teammates despite a rough start to their relationship. Winning six NBA titles together obviously establishes as much.
It’s of course ludicrous to expect Lowry and DeRozan to achieve the same level of nearly unparalleled success that Pippen and Jordan enjoyed. Still, the two Raptors teammates are demonstrating that sometimes, developing a bond off the court can take some time.