words & images // Nick DePaula
When Scottie Pippen was named to the original Dream Team roster a year prior to the 1992 Barcelona Games, there was certainly a bit of skepticism surrounding the then-fourth-year swingman on the Chicago Bulls. The second guessing of course was only heightened by the fact that his bitter Eastern Conference rival Isiah Thomas was mysteriously left off the team.
But by the time the Atlanta Summer Olympics rolled around four years later, there was absolutely no doubt about Pip's Hall Of Fame-cemented resume. After rattling off three championships in a row with the Barcelona Games sandwiched in between, the Bulls were coming off of an all-time 72-10 record and yet another title as the '96 Olympics approached.
Not only was Scottie at his peak of dominance on both sides of the ball then, but he was also starting to come into his own with his very own flagship sneakers.
He headlined the Wilson Smith III-designed Nike Air More Uptempo all during the Bulls' record setting year, and wore the shoe in its most bold color blocking en route to a second consecutive Gold Medal for the US.
As you take a closer look at this Scottie Pippen Dream Team II authentic jersey made by Champion below, notice that only the #8 and Champion logo are stitched on, with both "USA" and "Pippen" appearing instead in simple white mesh.
It was a pretty common design style during the mid-90's, as Champion would often take a white mesh jersey and coat just the top side in color to create fade effects, pinstripes or to spell out a team's name. The best examples of those would be the iconic Orlando Magic unis, the "Big Hawk" Atlanta jerseys or the Sonics' new look kits, and these funky Dream Team II jerseys fit right in.