Pippen, Dream Team elected to Hall of Fame

By Steve Ginsburg

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Scottie Pippen, a defensive wizard who played in the shadow of team mate Michael Jordan during the Chicago Bulls' run to six NBA championships, was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday.

Joining Pippen in the hall are seven players and two teams, including twice NBA MVP Karl Malone, five-times NBA All-Star Dennis Johnson and the 1992 U.S. Olympic "Dream Team."

Pippen, a seven-times All-Star, said the honor "gives me credibility" but added that he never felt, despite Jordan's presence, the Bulls of the 1990s were about individuals.

"I always felt that we were a team, that we all needed each other to be successful," he told Reuters. "But that's not just at the NBA level, that's at every level that I've played at.

"He was something special, not just on offense but especially on defense. He was very aggressive, overplayed the passing lanes, rebounded and could score. He did it all."

The gold medal-winning Dream Team was 8-0 at the Barcelona Games with a 44-point average margin of victory. Also featuring Jordan, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley and others, it is widely regarded at the best squad ever assembled.

Also gaining entrance into the Springfield, Mass. hall were the 1960 gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, three-times WNBA All-Star Cynthia Cooper, and New Jersey high school coach Bobby Hurley Sr.

Voted in posthumously along with Johnson were Brazilian Maciel "Ubiratan" Pereira and five-times All-Star Gus Johnson.

The enshrinement ceremony will be on August 13.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)