Scottie Pippen’s Hall of Fame Speech
"MJ, you have touched so many people’s lives, but none like mine," said Pippen. "Thank you for being the best teammate; I will always cherish that experience." (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)
Bulls legend Scottie Pippen was enshrined as part of the Class of 2010 into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on August 13, 2010. With Michael Jordan at his side as his presenter, he delivered a speech in which he thanked the individuals who helped him arrive at that moment:
What an honor it is for me as a basketball player to have the all-time great presenting me here tonight. It was so valuable to me as a player to see someone who had the same desire, determination, passion and love for the game. Who knew that No. 23 would be here 23 years later presenting me into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame? MJ, you have touched so many people’s lives, but none like mine. Thank you for being the best teammate; I will always cherish that experience and I will cherish our relationship forever.
I want to start out by congratulating the Class of 2010. I have some great guys in that class that I really admire—Karl Malone, Dennis Johnson, who his wife is representing tonight, as well as Gus Johnson. But I want to say as I stand here tonight I am deeply humbled to be in the presence of all these amazing people who have made such a tremendous impact on the mark of sports.
I didn’t get to where I am today without the help of many people. I hope those that I leave out will forgive me as I thank a few special individuals. I want to thank my Mom and Dad for everything that they have done for me. Growing up with 11 siblings was a challenge, but we made it work. It was also an incredible opportunity for me to be lifted so many times by my siblings, by so many people for so long. I love and I appreciate you guys. To my brother, Billy, who is here tonight, it’s been a long time since the days that I walked on at the University of Central Arkansas and I want to thank you for that trip.
To the person who takes my breath away, my beautiful wife, Larsa. Larsa, you are incredible and you are everything to me. You are a major part of who I am and what I have accomplished. To my kids here tonight, you light up my life and you truly make every day fun and exciting. All of you are special in your own way and are destined to be great at whatever you choose to do in life. I will be there to love you and encourage you along the way. Thank you, guys.
My best friend here tonight, Ronnie Martin, my childhood friend. Ronnie, it’s been a long time and an amazing journey. I appreciate you and I love you like a brother.
To my high school coach, coach Donald Wayne, who is here tonight. Would you please stand? I see you coach and I will say, I didn’t mean for you to sit that far back. He’s here with his beautiful wife, Brenda, tonight. The influence of a high school coach can be so powerful. Coach Wayne, I wouldn’t be standing here today without your encouragement and your support. Thank you.
To my coaches at the University of Central Arkansas, coach Don Dyer and coach Arch Jones, thank you for believing in me when no one else did, giving me the opportunity to play the game I love.
To Jerry Reinsdorf and the entire Chicago Bulls organization, as well as many of my great teammates I played with and cities I played in throughout my career, it was really an amazing dynasty in Chicago and I’m thankful to be a part of it. Thank you.
I want to thank my coaches, with a special thanks to Phil Jackson. When I say I played with the greatest, let’s not forget I also played for the greatest coach of all-time. Thank you, Phil.
To my teammates, whom lots are here tonight, if you would, please stand so I can recognize you. I want to thank you guys because I wouldn’t be standing here today—Steve [Kerr], Jud [Buechler], Charles [Oakley], Dennis [Rodman], Randy Brown, Bill Wennington, Pete Myers… I thank all you guys and I really appreciate playing with you guys. I want you to know that you will always be in my heart.
I want to thank the NBA and USA Basketball. Words can’t describe my feeling. I was a small town kid from Hamburg, Arkansas, and you provided me a platform to live out my passion, the game of basketball, on the world’s grandest stage. Thank you.
To my family at Nike basketball, you have engineered the best for the best. I’m proud to be considered a member of the Nike family. To my dear friend, Lynn Merritt, who is head of global basketball at Nike, thank you, buddy. You have stood with me and you have mentored me along the way.
To my friend Ray Clark here tonight from the Marketing Arm, you’re the best. I thank you for always being there for me, Ray.
I played this game that I love so much and everything I had, I laid it out there. I have also tried to live my life in the way that would make the people I love and care about proud of me. I have so much to be thankful for. I have been able to live my dream of playing basketball surrounded by people I love and being cheered on by the best fans in the world. It was a great ride. For all of this I say thank God and thank you.