Dennis Rodman praises Scottie Pippen for filling in for Michael Jordan in 1990s

Dennis Rodman of the Chicago Bulls (C) talks to teammates Michael Jordan (L) and Scottie Pippen (L) 10 June during game four of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz at the United Center in Chicago, IL. Rodman hit four foul shots down the stretch to l (JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Dennis Rodman, one of the several players on the Chicago Bulls who were an integral part of the team’s second three-peat in the 1990s, will be featured in the next part of the ESPN miniseries “The Last Dance.”

Rodman wasn't on the team yet when Michael Jordan retired for the first time and decided to try out baseball. He told ESPN’s “First Take” on Monday, from an outsider standpoint, that former teammate Scottie Pippen took his game to the next level in Jordan’s absence.

“If you notice about Scottie Pippen, when Michael Jordan left in '93, '94, '95 — Scottie Pippen was the best player in the world,” Rodman said. “If people didn't know that, he led the team in every category. Every category. Scottie got his wings in 1991 when [the Bulls] beat the Detroit Pistons. When Michael left, Scottie took over and next thing you know he was the best player in the world. People don't know that."


Between the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons, Jordan only played in 17 games. Pippen was forced to take on the leading role and rose to the occasion. He averaged 21.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists during that time. He also had 2.9 steals and one block per game.

The Bulls never got to the Finals in Jordan’s missing years. Chicago lost in seven games to the New York Knicks in the 1994 NBA Playoffs. The team then lost to the Orlando Magic in six games in the 1995 NBA Playoffs.


Rodman is expected to be the focal point of the third and fourth episodes of the ESPN miniseries.

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