Scottie Pippen has been going off on Michael Jordan ever since ESPN’s The Last Dance docuseries came out, and a former Chicago Bulls player is surprised.
Pippen, who won six championships with Jordan in the ’90s, sounds bitter about his time with the Bulls in his book, Unguarded, and during some of the interviews he’s done to promote his memoir. The Hall of Famer apparently cringed at being MJ’s sidekick and believed he didn’t get enough credit for helping the Bulls three-peat twice.
Jordan and Pippen are arguably the best duo of all time. However, the latter didn’t like how he was portrayed in The Last Dance and is using his book and interviews to rip the former and explain that he didn’t have a close relationship with His Airness. Bill Wennington, who won three titles with Jordan and Pippen, is still in the middle of reading Pippen’s book, but he’s been astonished by some of the things he’s read.
Bill Wennington on Scottie Pippen’s comments about Michael Jordan
During a recent radio interview, Wennington talked about Pippen taking several shots at Jordan and his reaction to it. The former Bulls center said he never knew Pippen felt the way he did.
“It’s tough,” Wennington said. “I’m in the middle of his book right now. I didn’t see it back then, and I don’t know if I had rose-colored blinders on, but I didn’t see it. Everyone was getting along. Everyone was hanging out together and doing things. I don’t know if something has happened with Scottie. I mean, I respect his opinion. I think he’s been one of my favorite Bulls teammates, and it was a lot of fun, but I don’t know if something’s happened in Scottie’s life. I know he’s had a tough time the past couple of years with his personal life and the passing of his son and everything. So I don’t know if that’s butt out a lot of pent-up feelings, and if he really felt that way, he did a great job of hiding it while we were playing because it didn’t affect us while we were playing because we all got along really well at the time.”
Pippen never said anything negative about Jordan before The Last Dance came out in April 2020. It’s obvious the docuseries rubbed him the wrong way, but no one could have predicted the way he has retaliated.
Scottie Pippen said Michael Jordan ruined basketball; he also never offered condolences after MJ’s dad died
Pippen holds nothing back in his book. From saying Jordan ruined basketball to revealing that he never offered the five-time MVP condolences after his father was murdered, Pip is burning every Jordan bridge there is.
Many Bulls fans assumed that Jordan and Pippen were close friends since they had incredible chemistry on the basketball court. However, Pippen said in his book that wasn’t true at all: “Michael and I aren’t close and never have been.”
Pippen also told Pat Tomasulo of WGN-TV that he and Jordan never hung out off the court, which is surprising since Wennington makes it seem like the Bulls players always did things together.
“If you ask us to go on a basketball court, we’re gonna join hands and embrace that, but away from the court, we’re just not two people that do things together,” Pippen said. “We don’t share things together, and our communication is not what you see on the basketball court.”
Pippen said in his book that Jordan reached out to him to discuss The Last Dance. Jordan had gotten word that Pippen was upset with him over the docuseries and wanted to talk things out. It doesn’t appear the conversation went well, though, since Pippen destroyed Jordan in his book many times.
Pip on MJ in The Last Dance: “He couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried”
Pippen thought The Last Dance was going to be about the Bulls’ dynasty. Instead, it tuned out to be a Jordan puff piece, and the Arkansas native was furious while he watched the docuseries.
“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,” Pippen wrote in his book. “From one season to the next, we received little or no credit whenever we won but the bulk of the criticism when we lost. Michael could shoot 6 for 24 from the field, commit 5 turnovers, and he was still, in the minds of the adoring press and public, the Errorless Jordan.”
Pippen felt underappreciated in the ’90s. That much is clear. It also seems like he’s tired of talking about Jordan since he’s been doing it for so many years. However, shouldn’t his anger be toward the media who covered the Bulls? It’s not like Jordan didn’t know how valuable Pippen was. He called him his best teammate of all time in The Last Dance and said that when people mention Michael Jordan, they should mention Scottie Pippen.
If The Last Dance turned out differently, would Pippen have written his book and bashed Jordan? Who knows, but it’s possible since according to Wennington, none of Pippen’s anger was seen or felt back in the day.