There is no greater honor in the world of sports than a commemorative statue in or about a team's stadium. Sure, each sport's respective Hall of Fame is commendable and legend-making, but those buildings have hundreds of inductees while only a precious few are worthy of life-size bronze replicas. So while it is very cool that Scottie Pippen was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, it is even cooler that he'll be memorialized with his own statue in the United Center.
From the perilously named Adam Fluck at Bulls.com:
The Chicago Bulls have plans to unveil a bronze statue of Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen that will be displayed permanently in the United Center at some point towards the end of the 2010-11 season.
"Not only is Scottie Pippen one of the greatest players to ever wear a Bulls uniform, but he's among the best players in history of the league to play the game," said Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. "He had a tremendous impact in bringing six world championships to Chicago and there is no better way to pay tribute to him than with a permanent statue that honors his inspirational career."
The statue will be crafted by Omri and Julie Rotblatt-Amrany of Highland Park, Ill., who also sculpted the famous Michael Jordan statue which was unveiled in January 1994 in conjunction with Jordan's No. 23 jersey retirement.
"Words really can't express my feelings," Pippen told Bulls.com. "It's an unbelievable honor and truly amazing. It's something you dream of as a kid growing up, but you can never foresee those childhood fantasies becoming reality. You see statues of individuals who have done great things and made their mark on history, but as a basketball player, you never really think about arriving at this point. It's an amazing honor for the Chicago Bulls to do this for me."
Awesome? Yeah, awesome. Very awesome. Pippen deserves a statue just as much as Jordan, and it's really cool to see that the Bulls were very aware of that. For as much as he was overshadowed by Jordan during their playing careers, it's good to see Pippen getting his fair share of accolades in retirement. Better late than never.
[Related: Pippen's private jet among top 10 athlete screw-ups]
As for what the statue is going to look like, no one knows. Doug Thonus at Bulls Confidential offered two suggestions, both of which make a lot of sense — either Pippen in a defensive stance or a re-creation of his famous dunk on Patrick Ewing's head. While I'd love to see the Ewing dunk immortalized, I have a hard time seeing the Bulls building a Patrick Ewing sculpture just for Pippen to dunk on. Then again, if they do go that route, not only will it be hilarious to see Patrick Ewing get crammed on from now until eternity, it'll also add another thick layer of amazing to that dunk. But really, as long as the sculpture features Scottie's flat-top, it'll be a success. Say no to the mini-Fro.
Of course, now that the Bulls are going to have statues of Jordan and Pippen gracing the United Center — not to mention, long-time announcer Johnny "Red" Kerr — don't be surprised if Jerry Krause starts angling for his own memorial. After all, organizations win championships, right?