Scottie Pippen is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most talented basketball players of all time. He and Michael Jordan joined forces to create one of the most unbeatable teams in sports history.
Unfortunately, because of their success together, Pippen’s legacy is forever tied to Jordan’s. And as a result of Jordan being viewed as the greater talent, Pippen has been relegated in history to being the greatest “Robin” of all time.
Over the years, Pippen has grown tired of this.
His frustration was on full display this week, when an excerpt from his new book, Unguarded, made a somewhat troubling accusation against Jordan.
“My years in Chicago, beginning as a rookie in the fall of 1987, were the most rewarding of my career: twelve men coming together as one, fulfilling the dreams we had as kids in playgrounds across the land when all we needed was a ball, a basket, and our imagination,” he write (via GQ).
“To be a member of the Bulls during the 1990s was to be part of something magical. For our times and for all time. Except Michael Jordan was determined to prove to the current generation of fans that he was larger-than-life during his day—and still larger than LeBron James, the player many consider his equal, if not superior. So Michael presented his story, not the story of the Last Dance, claimed Pippen.”
Pippen didn’t stop there, though.
“The final two episodes aired on May 17,” Pippen wrote. “Similar to the previous eight, they glorified Michael Jordan while not giving nearly enough praise to me and my proud teammates. Michael deserved a large portion of the blame. The producers had granted him editorial control of the final product. The doc couldn’t have been released otherwise. He was the leading man and the director.”
Even the episode that was supposed to be about Pippen ended up being about Jordan.
“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,” Pippen continued. “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.”
Now that’s a Halloween costume. https://t.co/WVK6W11K9M
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 1, 2021
This obviously isn’t the first time Pippen has taken this stance in regards to the Last Dance. He has been a fairly vocal critic of the documentary. It also isn’t the first time he has taken aim at someone from that Bulls group. His accusations against head coach Phil Jackson continue to live in the public zeitgeist.
Still, it’s startling to hear this sort of talk continuously come out of Pippen’s mouth. And at a certain point, it’s going to force people to reconsider how they think about those infamous Bulls teams.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.