Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen has always been a pretty tough guy.
Between the defensive tenacity he displayed on the court and the boldness he has shown off it – the Hall of Famer is as brave as they come.
That said, Pippen isn’t above admitting certain hard truths. And one of those truths is that there was definitely one player that inspired fear in him when they faced off.
“It was not fun playing against Shaq,” he said.
“I didn’t fear too many players during my career, but Shaq’s one of those guys that I feared, and the fact you had to come down and double team on him. He had the speed, the power, the spins.
“He was just a very difficult guy for us to defend as a team. Not for me as an individual, but I had to come down and double team. That was almost worse than guarding him because he would swing with his arms. Our whole game plan was if you gonna double-team Shaq, you better get there before they get the ball in there because if you get there after, you’re just gonna be a part of a poster.”
Pippen can always be relied upon for keeping it real. Whether he’s settling the LeBron James vs Kevin Durant debate, putting Michael Jordan in his place, or handling Larsa Pippen drama in his own special way – Pippen operates in a fashion that doesn’t rely on the acceptance of others. As such, his brutally honest commentary on the sort of player O’Neal was and the fear he evoked on the court shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone.
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Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.