For quite a while now, Scottie Pippen has been taking shots at several former teammates and coaches while promoting his autobiography, Unguarded.
Michael Jordan was the target of plenty of those shots, as Pippen seems to feel he never really got his just due for his role in helping the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships in the 1990s. And he’s made it abundantly clear that he wasn’t a big fan of The Last Dance. He says he hasn’t talked to Jordan since it aired and has no plans to do so.
He’s taken shots at Jordan’s famous “Flu Game,” says the 1997 NBA Finals conversation on the sidelines between Jordan and Steve Kerr was rehearsed, and most recently implied that he never won a Defensive Player of the Year trophy because of MJ.
But Jordan certainly hasn’t been Pippen’s only target as the seven-time All-Star has also taken time out to blast his former Dream Team and Rockets teammate, Charles Barkley. Now, that feud has been somewhat of a thing since the year they teamed together in Houston in 1999, but the bad blood is still there after more than two decades.
Initially, Barkley didn’t seem interested in engaging in the petty feud, just calling Pippen’s rants “unfortunate.” But when Scottie questioned his toughness, Sir Charles didn’t back down and fired back.
So, yeah, this has been a thing. However, Pippen was recently asked to name his all-time starting five and, despite his beef with Jordan and Barkley, included both. At least initially.
Scottie Pippen included Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley in his all-time starting five but dumped Sir Charles for Giannis Antetokounmpo
ln a recent interview to promote his book to a French audience, Pippen was asked to name his all-time starting five, which is always an entertaining question. And he was allowed by the host to include himself, which he did. He quickly listed the first three, naming himself, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson.
He took some time to think about the fourth and fifth options and mentioned how positions don’t really matter in today’s NBA. So with a little smirk on his face, he said, “Give me Charles Barkley,” saying he wanted to “stick with the older players.” And he then went with Shaquille O’Neal at center to close.
But just seconds later, Pippen changed his mind. With a bigger smile on his face than he had previously, Scottie said to “get rid of Barkley” and replaced him with two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who he’d discussed earlier in the interview.
So that’s a backcourt of Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan and a frontcourt of Scottie Pippen, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Shaquille O’Neal. Yeah, that’ll work.
So even given his disdain of Jordan, Pippen at least included his longtime running mate on his starting five. And we’ll say it’s the thought that counts with Barkley. For him to be even initially included is a nice gesture, I suppose. Perhaps Scottie just thinks Giannis is a little tougher.