Scottie Pippen Believes He Was as Good a Player as Michael Jordan Was: ‘I Just Wanted to Let People Know and Set the Record Straight That I Was as Great a Player as Michael Jordan’
The Scottie Pippen media tour has been wild thus far. While promoting his memoir, Unguarded, the Chicago Bulls legend has been taking non-stop shots at arguably the greatest player in NBA history, Michael Jordan. It’s been strange to watch Pippen bash Jordan since the duo won six championships together, and the latter called the former his best teammate of all time in ESPN’s The Last Dance docuseries.
Pippen used to talk glowingly about Jordan before The Last Dance premiered in April 2020. However, the Hall of Famer felt disrespected by MJ over how the docuseries turned out, and he wants the public to know just how good he was during his prime since the documentary didn’t tell his story enough.
Scottie Pippen: I was just as good as Michael Jordan
Pippen told Tyler Tynes of GQ that he was as good of a player as Jordan was. It was certainly a bold statement, but Pippen clearly believes it and doesn’t care what the public thinks about his assertion.
“I just wanted to let people know and set the record straight that I was as great a player as Michael Jordan,” Pippen said. “Only one player can take home the MVP, and that’s that, but beyond that, we were great teammates. We were great together. We supported each other, and we won together. There’s no need to think that I was selfish in any way along that journey.”
Pippen and Jordan three-peated twice and never lost in the Finals during the ’90s. The latter won five regular-season MVPs and six Finals MVPs, while the only award the former won was the 1994 All-Star Game MVP. Pippen felt The Last Dance glorified Jordan too much while not giving enough praise to him and his teammates, and he’s been going off on Superman continuously ever since the doc finished.
Scottie Pippen: Michael Jordan only cared about making himself look good
Pippen wrote that Jordan only cared about making himself look good during The Last Dance in his memoir. The Arkansas native also revealed he wasn’t the only player from the Bulls who felt disrespected.
“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. “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.”
It’s evident that The Last Dance deeply hurt Pippen. There isn’t anything on record of him bashing Jordan before the doc came out. In fact, the former small forward always spoke positively about His Airness.
Pip always praised MJ before the documentary
When he worked for ESPN, Pippen always showered Jordan with praise. He said Black Jesus was better than LeBron James numerous times and once said Jordan “carried him” for years while discussing the famous flu game.
The Jordan praise from Pippen is nowhere to be found these days, though. The swingman believes Jordan got way too much credit for the Bulls’ dynasty and thinks he and his teammates were used as props in The Last Dance.
“I’m not suggesting Michael wouldn’t have been a superstar wherever he ended up. He was that spectacular,” Pippen wrote in his book. “Just that he relied on the success we attained as a team—six titles in eight years—to propel him to a level of fame throughout the world no other athlete, except for Muhammad Ali, has reached in modern times.”
It’s mind-boggling to think that Pippen and Jordan would have beef after all the success they had together as teammates. Most Bulls fans thought the two would be close friends forever. It just further proves that The Last Dance affected Pippen so profoundly that he’s ready to burn every Jordan bridge there is.