In an excerpt of his upcoming memoir, Unguarded, Pippen not only called Jordan condescending, but he also said MJ used the docuseries to remind everyone he’s better than Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.
Scottie Pippen: The Last Dance was all about Michael Jordan
Pippen believes The Last Dance focused too much on Jordan and not enough on the Bulls as a team. His Airness had editorial control of the final product, and Pip says his former teammate used that power in the wrong way and tried to elevate himself over LeBron.
“The final two episodes aired on May 17,” Pippen writes, via GQ. “Similar to the previous eight, they glorified Michael Jordan while not giving nearly enough praise to me and my proud teammates. Michael deserved a large portion of the blame. The producers had granted him editorial control of the final product. The doc couldn’t have been released otherwise. He was the leading man and the director … Michael was determined to prove to the current generation of fans that he was larger-than-life during his day—and still larger than LeBron James, the player many consider his equal, if not superior.”
Jordan and Pippen won six championships together with the Bulls and never lost in the Finals. Even though the former called the latter his best teammate of all time in the docuseries, Pippen still believes he was used as a prop.
Scottie Pippen: Michael Jordan couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried
Jordan never got out of the first round of the playoffs until Pippen came to Chicago. That’s why Superman paid homage to the All-NBA forward in Episode 2 of The Last Dance.
“I would never be able to find a tandem, another support system, another partner in the game of basketball like Scottie Pippen,” Jordan said in The Last Dance. “He was a pleasure to play with. He helped me so much in the way that I approached the game, the way I played the game. Whenever they speak Michael Jordan, they should speak Scottie Pippen. Everybody says, well, I won all these championships, but I didn’t win without Scottie Pippen, and that’s why I consider him my best teammate of all time.”
Even though the public presumably loved Jordan’s comments about Pippen, the seven-time All-Star thought Black Jesus was being condescending.
“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 writes. “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 … Each episode was the same: Michael on a pedestal, his teammates secondary, smaller, the message no different from when he referred to us back then as his supporting cast.”
It’s shocking to see Pippen talk so negatively about Jordan. It’s clear he was deeply offended by The Last Dance, as it was only back in 2010 when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame that the Bulls legend had nothing but positive things to say about the five-time MVP.
Pip on MJ: “You have touched so many people’s lives, but none like mines”
Jordan presented Pippen into the Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Arkansas native emotionally thanked him for everything he did for his career.
“What an honor it is for me as a basketball player to have the all-time great presenting me here tonight,” Pippen said. “It was so valuable to me as a player to see someone who had the same desire, determination, passion, and love for the game. Who knew that No. 23 would be here 23 years later, presenting me into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. MJ, you have touched so many people’s lives, but none like mines. Thank you for being the best teammate. I will always cherish that experience and will cherish our relationship forever. Thank you.”
It’s unbelievable how much has changed between Jordan and Pippen following The Last Dance. It must be sad for Bulls fans to watch the two best players in franchise history drift apart after dominating the ’90s as teammates.