Did former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen really call Michael Jordan a “horrible player?”
Regarded as the greatest “wingman” in the NBA’s modern era, the former Bulls icon was the perfect accomplice for the legendary Michael Jordan.
A Hall of Famer, 6-time NBA Champion, 7-time NBA All-Star and the list goes on. Scottie Pippen is a legend, which is why his opinion on arguably the greatest basketball player ever, and one with whom he played during each of those championship runs, counts for a lot more.
Scottie Pippen isn’t a fan of Michael Jordan
During a recent appearance on the “Gimme the hot sauce!” podcast, former Chicago Bulls great Scottie Pippen reaffirmed his somewhat hostile stance on how Netflix’s “The Last Dance,” portrayed the legendary ‘90s Chicago Bulls. While speaking on the podcast which is hosted by his former teammate, Stacey King, the iconic No. 33 left no doubt as to his view on what he believes are false narratives, about the famous team. To be clear, Pippen called Michael Jordan a “horrible player,” as he spoke with King who now broadcasts Bulls games.
Indeed, when asked about the man many consider to be the best to ever play the game, Pippen explained that he views basketball more as a team game before proceeding to touch on a variety of players. Eventually, he came to the obvious name, Michael Jordan. “I’ve seen Michael Jordan play before I came to play with the Bulls,” Pippen said. “He was a horrible player. He was horrible to play with. He was all 1-on-1. He was shooting bad shots. And all of the sudden we become a team and we start winning.”
So, was Michael Jordan a ‘horrible player?’
Let’s not insult anyone’s intelligence by assuming folks don’t understand the nuance involved in this conversation. A “horrible player” doesn’t have multiple scoring titles, MVPs, championship rings and a whole archive of achievements beyond comparison. Conversely, a player that’s “horrible to play with” could. Consider for a moment the darker side of Jordan that is showcased in Netflix’s now infamous docuseries. On one side, we bear witness to the astonishing ability of one of the greatest athletes ever in sporting history. On the other, we see a man who was on many occasions petty, egotistical, harsh with his teammates and for the most part, took things very personally.
Yet, it’s interesting to note that after Pippen’s arrival, not only did Jordan’s assists go up - from 5.0 to 6.2 per game - but so too did his shooting percentage. That’s to say that perhaps there is an element of truth to Pippen’s take on Jordan’s status as a teammate, if even his eye-opening description of Jordan as a player seems a bit off to say the least. Could it be, that with a more team oriented player at his side, Jordan began to trust the players around him more? Regardless, what we can all agree on is that Pippen’s most recent entry in the ongoing feud with the “Last Dance,” will likely be talked about more for his jab at Jordan, than a potentially interesting incite into a player who remains to this day as divisive as he is legendary.