|ESPN.com: NBA||[Print without images]|
CHICAGO -- Scottie Pippen believes that Derrick Rose has taken over the torch for the Chicago Bulls franchise.
"Yeah, I think so," he said. "He's definitely shown this season that he's willing to step up, being an All-Star, making plays down the stretch of the game. Those are great strides. And he's definitely been able to do a lot of growing this season and learn a lot more about what he can do on the basketball court."
The recently elected Hall of Famer was in attendance Tuesday night for the Bulls' game against the Boston Celtics, and he was honored during the game. It was Pippen's first appearance at the United Center since the 2010 Hall of Fame class was announced.
"I'm definitely going in with a great class," he said. "And I'm looking forward to it."
Pippen will be inducted as part of a class that includes Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Karl Malone, high school coaching great Bob Hurley Sr., WNBA star Cynthia Cooper and the 1960 and 1992 U.S. Olympic teams, which both won gold medals. NBA veterans Dennis Johnson and Gus Johnson and international star Maciel "Ubiratan" Pereira will be honored posthumously.
Pippen averaged 16 points during his 17-year NBA career and was voted one of the NBA's 50 greatest players in 1996. He also won two gold medals while playing for Team USA in 1992 and '96.
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.