Michael Jordan Once Dragged Scottie Pippen Away From the Media Since He Was Late for a Golf Game: ‘Nah, Man, We Done, We Outta Here’

Basketball, golf, and cigars. These are three things Michael Jordan has a lot of love for. The Chicago Bulls legend played many rounds of golf and smoked plenty of cigars during his storied NBA career. Basketball was always a priority for Jordan, but everyone around him knew how much he adored golf.

Near the end of the 1997-98 season, Bulls head coach Phil Jackson gave his players an off day on the road, and Jordan played a round of golf with Ron Harper and some other people. MJ almost missed his tee time since the media was trying to talk to Scottie Pippen, but His Airness dragged his partner in crime away from the reporters and brought him to the bus.

Michael Jordan to Scottie Pippen: “Nah, man, we done, we outta here”

As Jordan and Pippen walked to the bus, two reporters tried to speak with Pippen. However, Jordan wouldn’t allow it since he had a tee time coming up.

“Nah, man, we done, we outta here,” Jordan said. “Let’s go, Pip. Come on, man. He’s healthy, he’ll be playing tomorrow.”

When the reporters caught up to Pippen again near the bus, Jordan went into the driver seat and started honking the horn, urging his teammates to hurry up so he could make it on time to his golf game. The five-time MVP ended up making it to his tee time on time and enjoyed a nice round of golf with a few cigars.

The Bulls were a tired bunch heading into the 1998 playoffs since they had played in two straight Finals. Sensing that his group needed a mental and physical break, Jackson gave his players that mini-vacation a week before the ’98 postseason started, and Jordan commended him for it.

Michael Jordan: “Phil knows we need a break”

While lighting up a cigar, Jordan turned to The Last Dance camera crew in Episode 6 and talked about why Jackson made the right decision to give the Bulls an off day despite the ’98 playoffs being only a week away.

“Phil knows we need a break,” Jordan said. “Young coaches, it would probably be a practice day today, and you would have some mean guys.”

The Bulls entered the ’98 playoffs by winning their final two regular-season games to finish the season with 62 wins. They were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and faced the New Jersey Nets in the first round. Although Chicago only beat New Jersey by three points in Game 1 and five points in Game 2, Jordan and Co. won Game 3 in convincing fashion to advance to the second round, where the Charlotte Hornets were the Bulls’ next opponent.

Behind Jordan, the Bulls beat the Hornets in the Eastern Conference semifinals in five games, setting up an epic clash with the Indiana Pacers in the conference finals. The series went seven games, and both Jordan and Pippen put on their Superman capes to lead Chicago to a series win.

Jordan and the Bulls only had two days to prepare for the Utah Jazz in the Finals. While Chicago was mentally and physically exhausted from the Pacers series, it never lost its focus.

Bulls got past Jazz in six games


Michael Jordan Was Motivated to Beat Jazz in ’97 Finals Because Karl Malone Won MVP: ‘That Fueled the Fire in Me’

The Jazz had homecourt advantage in the ’98 Finals, marking only the second time the Bulls didn’t have homecourt during the dynasty years. Utah won Game 1 of the series in overtime, and Jazz fans were in a jovial mood heading into Game 2.

However, Jordan and the Bulls silenced them by winning Game 2, 93-88. Chicago took a 3-1 series lead after winning Games 3 and 4, and everything was set up for Jordan to win his final championship at the United Center in Game 5.

Karl Malone had other ideas, though. The Mailman poured in 39 points in Game 5 to lead the Jazz to a two-point win. Everyone on the Bulls dreaded going back to Utah for Game 6 since the Delta Center was a difficult place to play. Pippen also had a severe back injury and could barely move to make matters worse.

However, Jordan wasn’t going to let anything stop him from winning title No. 6. He played 43 minutes and scored 45 points in Game 6. Toni Kukoc was the only other Bulls player to reach double-figures. Chicago won by one point to clinch its sixth title in eight years, and even though many pundits were surprised the Bulls pulled it off, Jordan always felt things would work out.

“In some people’s eyes, no one expected us to fulfill this,” Jordan said. “I was more competitive than I ever was because I wanted to win more than I ever did.”

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference