Malone, a 14-time All-Star and second-leading scorer in NBA history with 36,928 points who played for the Utah Jazz, and Pippen, who was a member of six championship teams with the Chicago Bulls, were members of the 1992 “Dream Team” that won a gold medal at the U.S. Olympics in Barcelona. The 1960 U.S. men’s team also was inducted into the Hall of Fame during last night’s ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Malone, twice named Most Valuable Player, thanked the NBA for letting “this little snotty-nosed kid from Louisiana” play in the league.
“I hope I did it the way my peers did it before me,” he said. “I didn’t do anything but try to play hard. I didn’t have a motive. It wasn’t about me, never was about me. It’s not about me tonight. It’s about a lot of other people.”
Pippen, a seven-time All-Star who appeared in playoffs for 16 straight seasons, was presented the honor by his teammate Michael Jordan.
“Who knew that No. 23 would be here 23 years later presenting me to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame,” Pippen said.
The 1960 squad won a gold medal at the Rome Olympics after going 8-0 with players including Walt Bellamy, Jerry Lucas, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West.
Lakers owner Jerry Buss, winner of 10 NBA championships; the late Dennis Johnson and Gus Johnson who played in the NBA; former WNBA star Cynthia Cooper; high school coach Bob Hurley Sr.; and the late Brazilian Maciel Ubiratan Pereira, a member of three Olympic teams, also were inducted.