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Great ESPN Magazine article about Quitten's so called "leadership"

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by The Cat, Mar 20, 2001.

  1. The Cat

    The Cat Contributing Member

    Jan 24, 2000
    Likes Received:

    Follow the Leader
    by Jerry Bembry

    His team is struggling, he's just been yanked and Scottie Pippen is furious. As Mike Dunleavy huddles the Blazers late in the first quarter to plot strategy in a March 13 game against the Sonics, a ticked-off Pippen breaks away and, in one furious motion, slams his water bottle to the court. Portland goes on to lose its fourth straight.

    One night later, Pippen is on the court, yelling at his teammates to do as he says. He's T'd up on a call that goes his way, then shoves Jason Kidd out of bounds as Portland loses again. But give Pippen this: At least he's trying to take control.

    Someone has to, or the league's highest paid team will continue to unravel. As recently as March 5, they had the best record in the West. Ten days later, after adding disgruntled Rod Strickland to their already overloaded roster, they were suddenly tied with the Mavericks for fifth place.

    Pippen has told those close to the team that he wants to lead the Blazers out of this mess. The problems are daunting: Dunleavy has lost the team, many of the players are fed up with Rasheed Wallace's temper and resentment over this season's late additions Detlef Schrempf and Strickland runs high. Players arrive late or skip practice altogether.

    The question is, of course, does Pippen know how to lead? He openly cursed Dunleavy when he was benched against Seattle, and has snipped at the embattled coach behind closed doors. Some around the team wonder if, at age 35, Scottie can relate to the younger players. Pippen has subtly mentioned to the Portland press how Wallace's lack of control hurts the team. But when Sheed has an on-court meltdown, Pippen is MIA. Is that how MJ would have handled it?

    What makes it tough for Scottie is that, in his 14th season, he can no longer lead by example. He's averaging 10.9 ppg and 5.1 rpg -- both figures the lowest since his rookie year. He's missed 17 games with injuries and is no longer the defensive force he once was.

    But he does have six championship rings and two gold medals, and it was that winning experience the Blazers thought they were getting for $16.4 million a year. Then again, the Blazers have not exactly been wise spenders. Even when they were winning, the overload of talent kept this team on the edge. Back in December, a frustrated Dale Davis protested his lack of minutes by missing a practice and a shootaround.

    "We've lost our rhythm -- we're not the same team in terms of confidence level," offers Damon Stoudamire. "Hopefully we can get it back, but it's going to take some time."

    With the playoffs less than a month away, time is not something they have.

    "We're not settling for just getting in the playoffs." "We want a higher seed. There's no doubt. We expect to get in."-- Steve Francis

    President of the Mo Taylor and Jason Collier fan club!

  2. HOOP-T

    HOOP-T Member

    Jan 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    "But he does have six championship rings and two gold medals, and it was that winning experience the Blazers thought they were getting for $16.4 million a year."

    We feel their pain, but better them than us. Pippen is not a leader. Now, he has lead by example in the past with his on court performance, but he was never a mental leader. That is evident from his behavior since the MJ retirement. As stated in the article, where is Pippen when Wallace gets out of control on the court? Did he learn nothing from MJ?

    There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
  3. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

    Feb 14, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I am so glad there are super rich owners out there who will pay anything for talent. Otherwise, we'd still be stuck with Pippen. Who else, besides the Blazers (ok, now the Mavs), would take such a bloated contract?

    Gafford Art
    Artisan Cakes
  4. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

    Oct 5, 1999
    Likes Received:
    At least the Mavs are getting something for their
    Bloated contracts. . . they ARE actually better

    Rocket River


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