Scottie Pippen honored by Chicago Mayor's Office

Bulls legend Scottie Pippen received formal recognition from the Chicago Mayor's Office during Wednesday’s city council meeting at City Hall.

The council honored Pippen for his 17-year NBA career, and more recently, for being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and rejoining the Bulls as Team Ambassador.

Scottie Pippen

“It was a historic moment for me personally to be among so many of the Chicago’s powerful politicians,” said Pippen. “Mayor Daley so many others who work at City Hall have done a tremendous job for the City of Chicago. For them to take a break from what I’m sure are 24-hour jobs running the city and providing so many of the things we enjoy meant a lot to me.”

As the legislative body of the city, the City Council usually meets once every month to exercise general and specific powers delegated by state statute. Mayor Richard M. Daley led the proceedings in which a resolution was read citing some of Pippen’s most prominent accomplishments.

Several moments were recalled by various aldermen who supported the proclamation, from Pippen’s dunk over the Knicks’ Patrick Ewing in the Chicago Stadium’s final game during the 1994 NBA Playoffs to carrying a sick and slumped Michael Jordan off the court during the 1997 NBA Finals in Utah.

Just as they recalled all of Pippen’s shining moments on the court, after the ceremony, Pippen talked about what it meant to play in the Windy City.

“I was so fortunate to spend so many of my years in Chicago,” said Pippen. “Right after I was drafted, I came to the city and fell in love with it. The fans have always been the best in the world and the appreciation you feel here as players goes a long way.”

In his comments, 14th Ward Alderman Edward M. Burke spoke about the parallels between politics and sports.

Scottie Pippen

“It has been said that a tough day at the office is even tougher when your office contains spectator seating,” said Burke. “To a certain extent, some of us in this chamber understand the wisdom in that statement. But any one of us would have been proud to have conducted ourselves with the fortitude and world class that we were lucky enough to witness in Scottie Pippen during his 12 seasons on the Bulls.”

Alderman Patrick J. O'Connor of the 40th Ward echoed that sentiment, noting how often times the Bulls of the 1990s helped keep the city’s politics out of the headlines.

“I have a theory about politics in Chicago,” O’Connor told Pippen. “We love our sports teams so much that we only turn to politics when our sports teams aren’t doing real well. And you and the Bulls kept the city of Chicago politics off the front page for so long.”

“Thank you!” interjected Mayor Daley as the council erupted in laughter.

Alderman Richard F. Mell of the 33rd Ward also jokingly recalled about the day in 1987 when Pippen called him to ask if he could wear the same No. 33 that Mell once wore as a youngster in Muskegon, Michigan.

“I have met Scottie on several occasions and there is not a greater ambassador for Chicago than this man,” said Mell. “The Bulls teams from those years would not have been the Bulls teams of those years without Scottie Pippen.”

The following are the aldermen who spoke in support of the resolution congratulating Scottie Pippen on his induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame:

1. Ald. Ed Burke (14th Ward)
2. Ald. Anthony Beale (9th Ward)
3. Ald. Richard F. Mell (33rd Ward)
4. Ald. Patrick O'Connor (40th Ward)
5. Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward)
6. Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th Ward)
7. Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward)
8. Ald. Walter Burnett, Jr. (27th Ward)
9. Ald. Gene Schulter (47th Ward)
10. Ald. Bernard Stone (50th Ward)
11. Ald. John Rice (36th Ward)
12. Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th Ward)
13. Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd Ward)
14. Ald. Ray Suarez (31st Ward)