In his memoir, Unguarded, Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen admitted he didn’t offer Michael Jordan condolences when his father was murdered in 1993. James Jordan was killed while he slept in his car on the side of a North Carolina highway, and his body was found in a South Carolina creek.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is one of the few media members who has a relationship with Jordan. After the excerpt of Pippen’s memoir in which he talked about not offering condolences to Jordan came out, Smith went on First Take and boldly stated that the Bulls icons may never be friends again.
Stephen A. Smith on Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen: “It’s over”
Smith said “it’s over” between Jordan and Pippen after what the latter revealed in his book about the former’s father’s passing. The veteran media talent spoke with Jordan on Nov. 2.
“His father passed away after the first three-peat,” Smith said. “So you had year one without Michael Jordan, year two. You had the three years you were with him for the second three-peat to express your condolences. You never did it. Michael Jordan never even thought about that until he saw it, and then he realized, ‘Wait a minute, you didn’t give me condolences on purpose. I didn’t even think about this.’ He’s (Pippen) crossed the line. Him and Jordan, it’s over. Take it from me. It’s over.”
Pippen takes a lot of shots at Jordan in his memoir. In response to Jordan calling him selfish in ESPN’s The Last Dance documentary for delaying a foot surgery and asking to be traded in 1997, Pippen fired back by calling MJ selfish as well.
Scottie Pippen on why he thinks Michael Jordan is selfish
Jordan retired in October 1993 after his father was killed in June. He was mentally and physically exhausted, and many people around the Bulls likely understood why he left the NBA. However, Pippen wasn’t one of them.
“You want to know what selfish is? Selfish is retiring right before the start of training camp when it is too late for the organization to sign free agents,” Pippen wrote in his book.
Pippen averaged 22.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.6 assists sans Jordan in 1993-94. He not only led the Bulls to 55 wins, but he also finished third in MVP voting and won the 1994 All-Star Game MVP. In his book, Pippen wrote, “For once, it was nice to win something of my own instead of watching Michael walk off with another trophy.”
It’s been shocking to watch Pippen bash Jordan ever since The Last Dance came out. He sounds bitter about his time with the Bulls despite winning six championships in the ’90s and becoming a global celebrity.
The Hall of Famer also looks like a merciless person. After all, he didn’t offer Jordan condolences after the shooting guard lost the most important male figure in his life.
Pip looks really bad
Pippen heard Jordan talk about his father’s death at his retirement press conference in 1993, watched him cry after the Bulls’ fourth championship on Father’s Day in 1996, and saw him get emotional in Episode 7 of The Last Dance when he spoke about the night his father’s body was found.
Despite all of that, Pippen never found it in his heart to offer condolences. That’s a bad look for the former small forward.
Jordan called Pippen his best teammate of all time in The Last Dance. The five-time MVP even thanked him during his Hall of Fame speech in 2009. The Last Dance must have really rubbed Pippen the wrong way because he even praised Jordan during his Hall of Fame ceremony in 2010.
It’s certainly been glaring to see Pippen write and say negative things about Jordan, especially for Bulls fans who watched the two legends dominate the ’90s and develop an impeccable rapport on the basketball court.
Apparently, that chemistry was only on the hardwood.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference
RELATED: Michael Jordan Got Destroyed by Scottie Pippen for How the Last Dance Docuseries Turned Out: ‘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’