Even though Scottie Pippen won six championships with Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls legend believes the fans and media paid too much attention to His Airness and didn’t credit him and his teammates enough. The Bulls three-peated twice during the ’90s, with Jordan winning all six Finals MVPs. Pippen has stated in several interviews and wrote in his book, Unguarded, that Jordan shouldn’t have received all the credit for the Bulls’ success.
One of the best all-around players in NBA history, Pippen thinks there’s a misconception about how teams sports are played. The Hall of Famer, who has been doing interview after interview to promote his book, believes the media is at fault.
Scottie Pippen: Media only talks about the standout player
During an interview with Jason Duaine Hahn of People Magazine, Pippen said the media is at fault for there being a general misconception about how team sports are played.
“I would definitely say that,” Pippen said. “You took the words out of my mouth. I think also, the people that write about the game don’t really understand what team sport is. They only want to write about the standout player. And I think that a lot of times it’s definitely taken a little bit too far, especially when you talk about team sports.”
In his book, Pippen talks about how he cringed at being labeled as Jordan’s sidekick and why he was the real leader of the Bulls locker room. When Chicago won, Jordan got all the credit from the fans and media. However, Pippen and his teammates got all the blame when the Bulls lost, and that never sat well with the swingman.
Pippen was looking forward to watching ESPN’s The Last Dance because he thought the docuseries would tell the complete story of the Bulls’ dynasty. However, the documentary wound up being a Jordan puff piece.
Scottie Pippen: The Last Dance was all about Michael Jordan
In the same interview with People Magazine, Pippen said The Last Dance “should have been more historically about the Chicago Bulls.” The NBA icon believes the documentary focused way too much on glorifying Jordan, who had editorial control over the docuseries.
“I just felt like that he had rights to really control something that I felt like should have been more historically about the Chicago Bulls, more about that team, and the history of that team,” Pippen said. “Especially, the last three seasons. And I just didn’t think it went in that direction.”
Jordan knows Pippen is upset with him over The Last Dance. The two Bulls legends had a conversation about the documentary, and Pippen told Jordan he wasn’t happy with how he was portrayed. The docuseries covered Pippen’s decision to delay his foot surgery on purpose in 1997-98 and his refusal to go into Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Knicks.
Did the media and fans give Jordan the majority of the credit when the Bulls won back in the day? Absolutely. However, Pippen acts like MJ never appreciated him as a teammate, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Michael Jordan once said he would pay money to watch Pip play
“I would pay to see Scottie Pippen play,” Jordan said. “I think he is the ultimate team player. A guy that can score, pass, rebound and play defense. I also think he’s great to have in the locker room. We have been closer this year, and I have really enjoyed that. Scottie does a lot of things on the court that amaze me. He moves really well and has those long arms and legs, and basically has no weaknesses. Also, he’s matured and is confident of his role on this team. At times, he amazes me.”
Pippen has been bashing Jordan left and right ever since The Last Dance came out. Maybe somebody should show him the above quote because the media may have underrated him, but Superman never did.