Chicago Bulls icon Scottie Pippen was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, a year after Michael Jordan was. When he was asked to choose an official presenter, Pippen wanted to ask Julius Erving since Dr. J was the player he idolized growing up in Hamburg, Arkansas.
However, Pippen barely knew Erving, so he went with Jordan, the player he won six championships with on the Bulls. Even though Pip and MJ were never close friends and may never be buddies ever again after some of the things the former has said about the latter in his memoir, Pippen was “extremely grateful” when Jordan agreed to present him.
Scottie Pippen: Michael Jordan and I will forever be linked together
In his memoir, Unguarded, Pippen wrote that he and Jordan will forever be linked together despite not being best friends. After realizing he wouldn’t be able to ask Erving to present him at the Hall of Fame since they weren’t familiar with each other, Pippen knew Jordan would be the perfect presenter.
“I thought about asking Dr. J since he was the player I idolized growing up. Except I barely knew him,” Pippen wrote. “Instead, I picked someone I knew quite well, whose greatness I observed up close, day after day, year after year. There really was no other choice. So what if Michael and I weren’t best friends? The two of us will forever be linked together, the best duo in NBA history. He helped make my dreams come true, as I helped make his. He said yes right away, and I was extremely grateful.”
Pippen has been saying a lot of harsh things about Jordan ever since The Last Dance docuseries premiered in April 2020. However, back in 2010, the seven-time All-Star spoke glowingly about His Airness.
Scottie Pippen thanked Michael Jordan at his Hall of Fame induction
Pippen emotionally thanked Jordan during his Hall of Fame speech in 2010. It was a beautiful moment between the Bulls icons, who never lost in the NBA Finals.
“What an honor it is for me as a basketball player to have the all-time great presenting me here tonight,” Pippen said. “It was so valuable to me as a player to see someone who had the same desire, determination, passion, and love for the game. Who knew that No. 23 would be here 23 years later, presenting me into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. MJ, you have touched so many people’s lives, but none like mines. Thank you for being the best teammate. I will always cherish that experience and will cherish our relationship forever. Thank you.”
Did The Last Dance make Pippen so angry that he’s willing to bash Jordan continuously in his book and in interviews as his way of retaliating? It seems like it. After all, before the docuseries came out, Pippen never said anything negative about Jordan.
The documentary clearly rubbed the two-time gold medalist the wrong way, and he doesn’t care how many bridges he has to burn to tell his side of the story.
Pip on MJ in The Last Dance: “He couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried”
Pippen went off on Jordan multiple times in his memoir. He hated being in Jordan’s shadow and wasn’t pleased with how The Last Dance turned out.
“ESPN sent me links to the first eight episodes a couple of weeks in advance. As I watched the doc at home in Southern California with my three teenage boys, I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Pippen wrote. “On and on it went, the spotlight shining on number 23. Even in the second episode, which focused for a while on my difficult upbringing and unlikely path to the NBA, the narrative returned to MJ and his determination to win. I was nothing more than a prop. His best teammate of all time, he called me. He couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried.”
From the outside looking in, it appears Pippen doesn’t care if he and Jordan never speak to each other again. That’s certainly not what Bulls fans who watched the ’90s teams dominate the league expected to happen after The Last Dance premiered.
However, Pippen felt disrespected by Jordan, and he’s firing back.
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