Bulls to honor Pippen with statue inside United Center
The Chicago Bulls have plans to unveil a bronze statue of Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen that will be displayed permanently in the United Center at some point towards the end of the 2010-11 season.
“Not only is Scottie Pippen one of the greatest players to ever wear a Bulls uniform, but he’s among the best players in history of the league to play the game,” said Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “He had a tremendous impact in bringing six world championships to Chicago and there is no better way to pay tribute to him than with a permanent statue that honors his inspirational career.”
The statue will be crafted by Omri and Julie Rotblatt-Amrany of Highland Park, Ill., who also sculpted the famous Michael Jordan statue which was unveiled in January 1994 in conjunction with Jordan’s No. 23 jersey retirement.
“Words really can’t express my feelings,” Pippen told Bulls.com. “It’s an unbelievable honor and truly amazing. It’s something you dream of as a kid growing up, but you can never foresee those childhood fantasies becoming reality. You see statues of individuals who have done great things and made their mark on history, but as a basketball player, you never really think about arriving at this point. It’s an amazing honor for the Chicago Bulls to do this for me.”
Pippen was informed of the news the same week that he was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In his first year of eligibility, Pippen was inducted on Aug. 13 as an individual player and as a member of the 1992 Dream Team which won the gold medal in the Barcelona Summer Olympics.
Having spent several years away from the game, Pippen said he now has a different, clearer perspective on his career, one that makes honors like the statue all the more meaningful.
“I’m more excited now when I look back at what we were able to accomplish,” Pippen acknowledged. “My playing years went by so fast, but I’m happy I was able to make my mark on the game. It’s hard to take a deep breath and look back on it all. At the same time, you are always trying to get to the next level and accomplish something new. I’m at a point now where I can really appreciate what I did throughout my career. To enjoy those things and reap some of the benefits now is very special to experience.”
While the Bulls retired Pippen’s No. 33 on Dec. 9, 2005, his alma mater, the University of Central Arkansas, didn’t officially lift his jersey to the rafters until Jan. 20 of this year. Between that, the Hall of Fame and his return to the Bulls as team ambassador, it’s been a nostalgic year for Pippen.
Scottie Pippen honored with statue
The Chicago Bulls will unveil a statue of Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen that will be displayed in the United Center at some point during the season.
"Not only is Scottie Pippen one of the greatest players to ever wear a Bulls uniform, but he's among the best players in the history of the league to play the game," Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. "He had a tremendous impact in bringing six world championships to Chicago and there is no better way to pay tribute to him than with a permanent statue that honors his inspirational career."
Pippen was elected to the Hall of Fame on Aug. 13. He won six NBA titles with the Bulls, was named one of the 50 greatest NBA players and made seven All-Star teams.
"Words really can't express my feelings," Pippen told the Bulls website. "It's an unbelievable honor and truly amazing. It's something you dream of as a kid growing up, but you can never foresee those childhood fantasies becoming reality. You see statues of individuals who have done great things and made their mark on history, but as a basketball player, you never really think about arriving at this point. It's an amazing honor for the Chicago Bulls to do this for me."
Omri and Julie Rotblatt-Amrany of Highland Park, Ill., will craft Pippen's statue. They also sculpted the famous Michael Jordan statue that was unveiled in January 1994 as part of Jordan's No. 23 jersey retirement.
Pippen returned to the Bulls in July as a team ambassador.
Ranking the power forwards, 30 through 21
28. Taj Gibson(notes), Chicago Bulls (last year: unranked)
At the bottom of this list, it really came down to, "who would I rather have on my team in 2010-11: Taj Gibson, or [name redacted]?" And Taj kept winning out. It's a giant mea culpa for me, because I didn't even think Taj was the 26th-best player in last year's draft when he was taken at that slot, but his all-around game and defensive work have me on his side as we enter his second season.
Ranking the power forwards, 10 through 1
6. Carlos Boozer(notes), Chicago Bulls (last year: eighth)
It was a weird run for Carlos in Utah. He stabbed a CBA-cheating owner in the back by reneging on an illegal handshake agreement to sign with the Jazz, and then ran injured for a while, drawing the ire of his new team's front office. Then Paul Millsap(notes) popped up, and while Boozer's backup didn't exactly make him redundant, he did allow for the trade rumors that really escalated before Boozer's 2009-10 player option, assumed-but-eventually-declined 2009 free agency and eventual split in 2010.
Yikes. So, it's as if he never was a member of the Jazz. Now he's a Bull, he sets screens, he gathers well and finishes expertly with either hand, and truly comes straight out of central casting for a team like Chicago. Assuming he averages 65 games a season. Anything less, and Chicago will continue to have Jazz-like issues.
Rose is player of the game against Greece
Rose is now Team USA's second starting guard, and he delivered today against Greece coming up with 13 points by hitting six of seven shots including a three. For his efficient offensive efforts, Rose earned the player of the game award.
What impresses me most about Rose and his team USA experience is his improved defense. Coach K has challenged Rose to become a disruptive defender, and given Rose's length and athleticism that's the type of defender he can play in the NBA as well.
Derrick is playing physical, attacking defense. He's generating steals and looks in the open court. I think Rose is going to actually take quite a bit away from his international team experience. Whether he has the endurance to play this same physical attacking defense while carrying the load offensively is another question, but most star players need time off on the defensive end at times while cranking it up when it's most important.
We've now seen that Derrick Rose can ratchet up his defense when needed and that's going to help the Bulls significantly next season.
Also, while the international three is shorter and Rose hasn't drilled tons of them, the extra arc in his jump shot is apparent. He's obviously worked hard on fixing up his form to become a good three point shooter and whether he's all the way there this year or not, the process has begun.
I'm actually starting to get excited about the Worlds.
This is an awesome compilation of player transactions for each team. Interesting to see how the Bulls got to where we are:
NBA Player Movement Flow Charts