Chicago Bulls: Kukoc names Scottie Pippen as his favorite teammate

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls. (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images)
Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls. (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images) /

Now that the Chicago Bulls look to have a roster that’s ready to put the franchise back in playoff contention for the first time in nearly five years, the times ahead are more promising. While this is not a Bulls’ roster heading into next season that is one of the best in franchise history, it will be nice to hopefully get back to winning ways in Chicago in the not too distant future.

Winning a lot of games was something that the old Bulls core of legends like all-time great shooting guard Michael Jordan, Hall-of-Fame forward Scottie Pippen, and fellow Hall-of-Famer Toni Kukoc got used to throughout the 1990s. The Bulls won six titles during the 1990s, forming one of the most dominant dynasties in professional sports history.

There were some close ties that some of these Hall-of-Fame Bulls players had during the hay day of this franchise in Chicago in the 1990s. According to a report from Bulls team writer Sam Smith this weekend, Kukoc’s favorite teammate he ever had was Pippen.

Chicago Bulls Hall-of-Fame forward Toni Kukoc names Scottie Pippen as his favorite teammate

Kukoc noted here that he thought Pippen was just as important to the Bulls in winning all of those titles as Jordan was. That is a bold statement, but it is clear that Pippen was integral to all of the Bulls’ success winning titles in the 1990s.

Here’s more on what Kukoc had to say on Pippen and the Bulls from his time with the team in the 1990s.

"“I always say Michael probably was the best player,” said Kukoc who is being enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. “Scottie, to me, was as important as Michael. Because of that idea that Scottie was taking care of the whole team and was guarding people. He would bring the ball up and would find the right people and then for Michael it was, ‘OK, take us home.'”"

Kukoc clearly thinks very highly of Pippen. He specifically notes the massive impact that Pippen had for the Bulls on the defensive end of the floor. And even Jordan has acknowledged that there were times when he realized that Pippen was the better defender of these two Bulls legends.

During his playing days in the NBA, Pippen won six titles alongside Jordan and the Bulls in the 1990s. Kukoc was in on three of those in the mid-to-late 1990s following the first of three retirements for Jordan.

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As part of the 2021 Hall-of-Fame induction class, Kukoc got his name immortalized with the all-time greats in the game of basketball. Although he didn’t get any career All-Star selections or All-NBA Team nods, his contributions to three titles got him inducted to the Hall-of-Fame when it was all said and done.