Scottie Pippen Called Out Michael Jordan in His Book for Saying He Played by Himself in Game Without Him and Dennis Rodman: ‘Michael Could Be Incredibly Insensitive’

Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen missed the first 35 games of the 1997-98 season rehabbing from foot surgery, so Dennis Rodman was the only All-Star teammate Michael Jordan had to begin the season. With Pippen out, Jordan and the Bulls needed Rodman to be more accountable.

However, Rodman struggled out of the gates in 1997-98. He wasn’t playing with high energy and let his temper get the best of him by getting kicked out of a game early on. In Episode 3 of ESPN’s The Last Dance docuseries, Jordan said he was irritated with Rodman since the rebounding machine left him on the court by himself due to Pippen’s absence.

Pippen has been going off on Jordan ever since The Last Dance premiered in April 2020. The six-time champion wasn’t happy with how the docuseries turned out, and he wrote a memoir to tell his side of the story. In the prologue of his book, Pippen bashed Jordan left and right and discussed MJ’s comments about Rodman leaving him alone on the court.

Scottie Pippen: Michael Jordan could be incredibly insensitive

Pippen didn’t appreciate many of Jordan’s comments in The Last Dance. He felt His Airness was disrespectful to him and his Bulls teammates. The Arkansas native touched on the subtle and not-so-subtle digs Jordan threw at former teammates in the docuseries in Unguarded.

“Michael could be incredibly insensitive,” Pippen wrote about Jordan. “In one episode, he recalled how upset he was with Dennis Rodman for being kicked out of a game during the ’97-98 season. I was still recovering from foot surgery. Michael blamed Dennis for leaving ‘me out there by myself.’ By myself? That doesn’t say much for the other professionals who were on the court, does it? I could go on and on, listing the subtle and not-so-subtle slights toward myself and my teammates.”

Rodman went to Jordan’s hotel room and asked for a cigar as his way of apologizing for getting ejected. Pippen made his season debut in January, and the Bulls finished the 1997-98 season with 62 wins behind their Big Three, winning the 1998 championship over the Utah Jazz to cap off the dynasty.

Pippen, Jordan, and Rodman won three championships together in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Even though Pippen and Jordan won six rings together, it appears Black Jesus may have had a better relationship with Rodzilla than he had with Pip.

Scottie Pippen: Michael Jordan and I aren’t close and never have been

Since Pippen and Jordan were such a dynamic duo on the court and always spoke glowingly about each other, most fans assumed the Bulls icons were close friends. However, Pippen shockingly admitted that he and Jordan have never been close in his book.

“Michael and I aren’t close and never have been,” Pippen wrote. “Whenever I call or text him, he usually gets back to me in a timely fashion, but I don’t check in just to see how he’s doing. Nor does he do the same. Many people might find that hard to believe given how smoothly we connected on the court. Away from the court, we are two very different people who have led two very different lives.”

Jordan called Pippen his best teammate of all time in The Last Dance and said, “Whenever they speak Michael Jordan, they should speak Scottie Pippen.” While Pippen sincerely appreciated what Jordan said, he thinks Superman “couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried” in the docuseries.

Pip: Each episode of The Last Dance was the same


Michael Jordan Apologized to Scottie Pippen for Covering Playoff Series Against Knicks Where Pip Refused to Go Into Game on Final Play in ‘The Last Dance’

Pippen didn’t enjoy watching The Last Dance. He thought the docuseries would be more about the Bulls’ dynasty. Instead, it was essentially Jordan propaganda.

“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.’ From one season to the next, we received little or no credit whenever we won but the bulk of the criticism when he lost,” Pippen wrote in his book.

Pippen wasn’t surprised to hear Jordan say he played by himself when Rodman was ejected during a game in 1997-98. He’s just using his large platform now to call out his best teammate of all time.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference