NBA Great Debates: Scottie Pippen vs. Dominique Wilkins, Who Ranks Higher All-Time?

On a popular online discussion forum called Loud About Basketball (otherwise know appropriately as “the Lab”) I moderate we recently had a discussion regarding Charles Oakley’s all time starting five.

Oakley went with Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Moses Malone, and Hakeem Olajuwon. The backcourt really isn’t up for debate, and Olajuwon could be considered the most skilled big man in the modern era, so that is fine as well. But the selections of Malone, and to a far greater degree, Pippen, are a bit dubious.

Then, in the LAB, someone posted the idea that maybe someone should replace Pippen. What was shocking was the fact that the player suggested was not LeBron James, but rather Atlanta Hawks forward Dominique Wilkins.

Wilkins was left off the Top 50 of All-Time list when the NBA celebrated its 50thbirthday and many felt it was an injustice. Further, Wilkins was also omitted from the selection of the 1992 Dream Team.
Has Wilkins received a serious snub? Is he better than Oakley’s pick of Pippen?

Initially, my response to this was “No” and “No.” But further thought after reading the comments of Terrance Pugh and Timothy Shorts caused me to further reflect, and in short, change my views altogether.
Are you of the mindset I was? Wouldn’t Pippen’s six championships trump Wilkins’ zero?
Read what Pugh and Shorts had to say, and formulate your own opinion, but for whatever it’s worth, mine has changed!

Terrance Pugh’s take:

Pippen’s offensive game is overrated. That year Jordan played baseball Pippen was supposed to averaged 32 points a game that year. Pippen only gave the Bulls 22 pts a game that year. If that had been Lebron he would have been giving the Bulls 32 pts a game, easily that year Jordan didn’t play. No way Pippen is neck and neck with Lebron individually. The most Pippen ever averaged is 22 pts, that is about the lowest Lebron ever averaged, Lebron has lived closer to the 30 pt range all of his career. If Lebron and Pippen are neck and neck then Lebron is underrated and Pippen is overrated.

I know but Scottie is not neck and neck with Lebron and that is not even an insult. There are many great scores who did it without a legit #2 scorer, Pistol Pete, Bernard King, Rick Barry, etc. I’m just saying Scottie needed to be a better scorer than what he was to be neck and neck with Lebron. Scottie was our guy back in the day. It’s a shame he didn’t appreciate Jordan later on down the line.

Timothy Shorts’ take:

I remember Scottie in those Portland days getting his team like 10, 8, and 7 and a few steals. The points may not have been where we wanted them to be but he dominated the game with those type of numbers. You got to realize in that time with the Bulls when MJ left, Scottie had no legit #2 scorer so I think it becomes harder to score rather than easier with MJ gone.

I remember Scottie in those Portland days getting his team like 10, 8, and 7 and a few steals. The points may not have been where we wanted them to be but he dominated the game with those type of numbers. You got to realize in that time with the Bulls when MJ left, Scottie had no legit #2 scorer so I think it becomes harder to score rather than easier with MJ gone.

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Chicago Bulls Dominique Wilkins Scottie Pippen

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