Scottie Pippen was in a great mood and mostly had only kind things to say during the news conference at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in advance of his induction tonight.
But the exception was when the recent comments by former NBA coach Jeff Gundy were brought up. Speaking last week to a Miami newspaper, Van Gundy said that the Miami Heat with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would top the Bulls' record of 72 victories in a season.
"I don't want to elaborate on what Jeff Van Gundy said," Pippen said. "Really, I mean, who is he to say that they're gonna break the record? He coached numerous years in this league and he hasn't been able to break it, so we'll wait and see.
"I think those guys' biggest goal is to win a championship and not try to win 72 games. But if Jeff Van Gundy wants to take a bet, I will bet him that they won't break it."
It was almost as if the heated rivalry between the Bulls and New York Knicks of the 1990s had been revisited. Pippen also took a mild shot at the Heat, or at least questioned whether Miami would be as good as advertised.
"You can put a lot of great players together, but it's about building chemistry," he said. "There's been a lot of great teams put together, but that doesn't really seal the deal. Me personally, I think that Boston is still probably the best team in the East. [But] Miami has improved itself. "