Another interview, another soundbite of Scottie Pippen bashing Michael Jordan. The legendary small forward, who hasn’t been afraid to go after His Airness ever since ESPN’s The Last Dance docuseries came out in April 2020, was recently interviewed on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and took another jab at Jordan.
Pippen felt The Last Dance documentary was too much of a Jordan puff piece and not about the Bulls’ dynasty in the ’90s. The six-time champion’s memoir, Unguarded, is a New York Times bestselling book because it not only talks about his rough upbringing and journey to the NBA, but it also has a bunch of Jordan slander, and some people are intrigued by that.
During his interview with Noah, Pippen was asked to speak about his experience playing with Jordan, and the two-time gold medalist made sure he reminded viewers that the Bulls were losers before he got to the team in 1987.
Scottie Pippen: Michael Jordan had three losing seasons without me
When Noah asked Pippen what it was like playing with Jordan, the Arkansas native said he and Black Jesus had to adjust their games for the betterment of the team. The seven-time All-Star also threw a little dig at the UNC product by pointing out that the Bulls had three straight losing seasons with Jordan before he got to Chicago.
“Well, it was an adjustment,” Pippen said about playing with Jordan. “You know, when I came into the NBA and to the Chicago Bulls organization, Michael had been with the organization for three seasons, three losing seasons. So it was an adjustment for him to change his style of play and how he played the game, and it was, I guess, up to me to sort of pick up areas where I felt like that I could be a good fit for the team to, you know, get us in a position where we could be successful, but also opening up as a player where I could show my talent and my greatness on the court as well.”
The Bulls went 38-44 during Jordan’s rookie season, 30-52 in his second year, and 40-42 in Year 3. It’s worth mentioning that Jordan only played in 18 games in Year 2 due to a broken foot he suffered on October 29, 1985.
After the Bulls acquired Pippen from the Seattle SuperSonics on draft night in 1987, they never had a losing season and got out of the first round each postseason. Jordan never won a playoff series without Pippen, who is clearly motivated to remind everyone that he played just as big of a part in the Bulls’ dynasty as Air Jordan did.
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen won 514 regular season games and 117 postseason games together
Jordan and Pippen were nearly unbeatable together. The Bulls went 514-177 in the regular season and 117-51 in the playoffs when their two superstars were in the lineup.
The Bulls won six titles from 1990-91 to 1997-98. They went undefeated in the Finals and three-peated twice. Jordan averaged 30.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in the regular season and 32.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in the playoffs during the dynasty years. Meanwhile, Pippen put up 20.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in the regular season, and 19.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game in the postseason during the same stretch.
Jordan won all six Finals MVPs for the Bulls, who defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, SuperSonics, and Utah Jazz (twice) for their six championships. Even though Superman called Pippen his best teammate of all time in Episode 2 of The Last Dance, the 10-time All-Defensive team member felt like a prop in the documentary.
Pip on The Last Dance: “I was nothing more than a prop”
Pippen believes Jordan presented his story and not the Bulls’ story in The Last Dance. The Hall of Famer was furious with how the documentary turned out, so much so that he called Jordan condescending and described himself as a prop in his memoir.
“Even in the second episode, which focused for a while on my difficult upbringing and unlikely path to the NBA, the narrative returned to MJ and his determination to win,” Pippen wrote in his book. “I was nothing more than a prop. His best teammate of all time, he called me. He couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried.”
Jordan and Pippen are the best duo in NBA history. After all, they had a perfect record in the Finals and prevented several great teams from reaching the promised land. However, whatever relationship they had before The Last Dance and Pippen’s book came out is probably over now. Pippen has said too many harsh things, and as we learned in The Last Dance, Jordan takes everything personally.