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PORTLAND, Ore. _ It was back in the summertime, before Mark Cuban and Dennis Rodman's last dance, before most of the Charlotte Hornets went to jail and Isaiah Rider and Rasheed Wallace began auditioning for the Fox's "World's Craziest Humans" show.
Scottie Pippen was supposed to be a contestant, but Phil Jackson knew better.
He knew Pippen was merely eccentric. Yes, Phil knows eccentricity.
He also knows basketball.
And he knew he needed a leader. Del Harris complained about not having one after the Lakers' playoff loss in 1998, and Kurt Rambis didn't know if he was coming or going, so he didn't notice.
Leadership was tough to get from Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant when they …