“The Last Dance” is behind only the NFL Draft in interest right now. While the attention was mainly focused on Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen has gotten a lot of attention due to his feud with Jerry Krause.
Scottie is now being thought of very highly, and many are saying he was underrated. While some are overrating him, he is eerily similar to a player who could finish as a top 15 player.
A player who is very similar to Scottie is Kawhi Leonard. Both are athletic wings who are elite defenders and efficient scorers.
However, Scottie is a better defensive player and Kawhi has the upper hand offensively. Both are good shooters, with Pippen shooting 47% for his career, and Kawhi shooting 49%.
Both players can shoot from everywhere, however, Kawhi is better from beyond the arc. Both have solid court-vision, but Scottie was a very good passer for a wing player, averaging 5.2 assists a game per his career.
Both are also good rebounders and have similar win share amounts through their first nine seasons.
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”- Mark Twain.
Off the court they have many similarities. Both were traded on draft night in lop-sided trades and were key pieces of dynasties.
Kawhi came in towards the end of the Spurs dynasty while Pippen helped create the Bulls dynasty. However, both ended their tenures with the dynasties poorly.
Scottie was unhappy for being underpaid and feuded with GM Jerry Krause. Kawhi was unhappy because he was being forced to play when he believed he was not healthy enough.
After both were traded (to another team for one year each), their dynasties ended though it was unlikely the Bulls would win without Jordan and the Spurs were too old to win with their core, even with Kawhi.
These situations are very similar and both held out to express their anger. They were in different positions of their career as Scottie was at the end of his prime while Kawhi was just entering it.
The similarities between Kawhi and Scottie are very apparent as they are some of the best two-way players ever. Even though Kawhi is still is in his prime, both will be compared for decades to come.
Photo Credit: Nick Jungfer / Basketball Forever