Scottie Pippen goes off at Michael Jordan for “The Last Dance”
Following the release of Michael Jordan's “The Last Dance”, former teammate Scottie Pippen reveals his harsh feelings about Jordan and his documentary.
The 10-episode ESPN documentary portraying the final season of the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls’ dynasty came out during the pandemic in 2020. And with the film focusing solely on Michael Jordan and his rise as the greatest player in the NBA league, Scottie Pippen was not happy about that.
Scottie Pippen blames Michael Jordan
The six-time champion was not shy to share that the documentary puts Jordan on a pedestal, and undersells Pippen and his teammates. He made it clear that he blames Jordan for it, and it’s not the first time he feels that way. He shared, “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.”
Not only does Pippen have a problem with feeling undermined by Jordan, but he also shows resentment towards him that has added up over the years. “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. Michael could shoot 6 for 24 from the field, commit 5 turnovers, and he was still, in the minds of the adoring press and public, the Errorless Jordan... Now here I was, in my mid fifties, seventeen years since my final game, watching us being demeaned once again. Living through it the first time was insulting enough.”
Pippen unleashes his feelings about “The Last Dance” in his upcoming memoir “Unguarded” that comes out on Nov. 9. Check GQ with the exclusive excerpt of the book.
Besides being unhappy about the emotional side of things and discontented with receiving limited respect, Pippen is also unsettled about the financial aspect of things. According to Pipen, Michael received $10 million for his role in the doc while he and his teammates didn't earn “a dime”. “Another reminder of the pecking order from the old days,” said Pippen. “For an entire season, we allowed cameras into the sanctity of our locker rooms, our practices, our hotels, our huddles…our lives.”
The Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen Duo
Scottie Pippen has apparently always expressed certain feelings about Jordan, but the birth of this film has certainly unveiled the resentment he feels towards his teammate. Along with the many things Pippen has shared, he’s also added that he never really established an off-court relationship with Jordan as a result of all his fame. “Michael was bigger than the game, you know. Even [by] my initial arrival to Chicago he was a big, iconic figure for the NBA. So, we never really had that off the court relationship," said Pippen.
Since this comes off as a surprise to some readers, here’s a different Peppin-perspective from back in 2010:
The 1992 Dream Team
Jordan and Pippen, the 1992 Dream Team, complemented each other so well on the court that they produced what was arguably the best season in NBA history, and won six championships together. Jordan would have not done it without Pippen, and vice versa. Not to forget that Pippen was named one of the 75 greatest players in league history, and may still be one of the best defensive forwards ever.
Even with such a world-renowned dynamic duo that has gathered millions of fans and made the history books, it is safe to say that these two have enough beef to be on good terms. Jordan and Pippen were world-class players on the court, despite their differences. They have shown that even at such a pro level, great players don’t need to have the best relationship off the court to make history.