Scottie Pippen wanted to come back to the NBA in the 2006-2007 season and the Cleveland Cavaliers had the most interest to sign him.
Scottie Pippen wanted to come back in 2007 to the NBA, that’s not news. However, a new rumor has the LeBron James-lead Cavaliers as the team that was most interested in him. While that may or may not be true, the reports of Pippen wanting to come back for the end of the 2007 season, and get ready for the playoffs is true. Pippen said as much so in 2007.
“I’m thinking of trying to come back for the playoffs,” Pippen told the Chicago Tribune. “Something like the last two months of the season, somewhere I can come back and play limited minutes to start, play point forward for someone and build toward the playoffs. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for the last three months.”
While no source is listed regarding the Cavs interest, one would have to imagine that there is some truth to the idea that Dan Gilbert and then-GM Danny Ferry would have gone after Pippen hard. The team was coached by Mike Brown and was defensively minded with LeBron James playing point forward a lot. Pippen would’ve been the perfect substitute for the team, playing as a more spindly version of LeBron for a lot of his career.
That said, even if Pippen did come back with the Cavs in ’07, he still would’ve been 41-years-old and there still wouldn’t have been enough scorers to put down the juggernaut Spurs. That Spurs team was the peak of the franchise with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili hitting their primes and Tim Duncan dominating in his.
It would’ve been interesting but predictable how the series would’ve gone. Despite James being this icon of icons, players in 2007 still didn’t want to play with him. His best running mates were former Wizard’s Hughes and Antwan Jameison in 2009-2010, as well as one-time All-Star Mo Williams and two-time All-Star Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
Maybe the five of them together at once, and Pippen as the sixth men would’ve helped but each guy played with James at relatively different points in their careers. Pippen wouldn’t have made a difference against the Spurs.