Scottie Pippen isn’t Michael Jordan, but he’ll do for this Fleer Ultra basketball cards ad
Michael Jordan was of course the most in-demand of endorsers during the 1980s-1990s glory days of the NBA, the athlete everyone from underwear manufacturers to hot dog purveyors wanted hawking their products. But he was just one man, and thus couldn’t be all things to all people. Which opened up a pitchman door to the eternal second banana, Scottie Pippen — the Cyrano de Bergerac of the National Basketball Association. The man with a beak like a hawk got his chance to hawk! Hey, kids, he’s on the Bulls too, see! He can spin a basketball on his finger and everything!
This post isn’t a bash on the baller abilities of Mr. Pippen, a Hall of Famer who had the simultaneous luck and misfortune of playing alongside the consensus best player in the history of the game. (Though doesn’t the ad itself, in its “Card Times” sub-header, maybe imply that Scottie is something other than “Championship Quality”?) Yes, there was that ugly moment in the Garden where he threw a snit at the expense of his team and they won in spite of him. And yes, he allegedly pissed a good chunk of his money away after his playing days were over, including whatever coin of the realm he got from this. (But don’t say that too loud, or he might sue you.) But good for him for getting his moment in the basketball card ad sun.