Does Pippen Deserve a Statue?

$100,000 bronze statue of six-time NBA champ to be placed in United Center

By Dick Johnson
|  Thursday, Aug 26, 2010  |  Updated 9:53 PM CDT
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For the unscientif record, most people think it's OK to sculpt six-time NBA champ Scottie Pippen, as long as the Bulls are footing the roughly $100,000 bill.

For the unscientif record, most people think it's OK to sculpt six-time NBA champ Scottie Pippen, as long as the Bulls are footing the roughly $100,000 bill.

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Just like Mike, Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen will have his likeness cast in bronze and displayed at the United Center.  But is he statue worthy?

Most of the passersby questioned Thursday were quick to affirm Pippen's place among the hundreds of statues in Chicago.

"I think he deserves a statue.  He did well enough for our city," said one.

"Absolutely," another chimed in.  "No question."

But there were some opposed to the idea of a 3D representation for the six-time NBA champ who just two weeks ago was elected into basketball's Hall of Fame.

"I don't think we need to have a statue for every player," said one woman.

Sports Network columnist John McMullen called the move "overkill," and opined that America's "hero worship has fallen."

But Chicago is clearly a big city that loves a big statue.  Likenesses around town honor those who brought us here, like Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable, and those who captured the play-by-play along the way, like Jack Brickhouse.

Some of the scores of frozen faces are likely unrecognizable to most Chicagoans. 

There's Robert Cavelier de la Salle, Johann Wofgang von Goethe, Alexander Hamilton and Harry Caray, which on Thursday was covered and being moved to the bleacher entrance of Wrigley Field.

It's possible that in Boston -- not that we care what they think in Boston -- many are pointing out that Beantown doesn't have a statue for eight-time NBA champ John Havlicek.  But Chicago has a Havlicek.  Though, in the Windy City's case, that would be Karel Havlíček Borovský, the Czech poet, statesman and martyr.

And on Thursday, the 90th anniversary of the woman's suffrage victory, one would be remiss to not point out that Chicago honors Jane Addams with a park and a statue, although it is undergoing restoration.

But by far, the most sought-after "photo op" statue is Michael Jordan outside the United Center.  And soon the same sculptor will do a bronze of Pippen for the inside.

As long as the Chicago Bulls are footing the roughly $100,000 bill, and they are, there was little debate about whether a Pippen should exist.

What may be up for discussion, however, is his pose.  Because like their careers, Pippen's may never top Jordan's.

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