Pippen, Malone Inducted into Hall of Fame

Scottie Pippen, arguably the greatest sidekick in NBA history, and Karl Malone, one of the best players to have not won a championship in their careers, were officially inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.

Pippen, who was picked fifth overall by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1987 Draft and immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls for Olden Polynice, acknowledged longtime teammate Michael Jordan during his acceptance speech. “MJ, you have touched so many people’s lives, but none quite like mine,” Pippen said. “Who knew that No. 23 would be here 23 years later presenting me to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame?”

Malone, on the other hand, thanked her departed mother in an emotional speech. “I’m here because of her,” said Malone of her mother, who passed away seven years ago. Malone also paid tribute to late Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller for having confidence in him. Malone is second in the all-time scoring list and holds the record for scoring at least 2,000 points in 11-straight regular seasons.

Inducted with Pippen and Malone were the entire 1960 and 1992 U.S. Olympic teams that won the gold medal, as well as WNBA great Cynthia Cooper, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, and coach Bob Hurley of St. Anthony’s High School in New Jersey.

Photo from Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com.