Scottie Pippen has been speaking to the press recently in order to promote his new book, 'Unguarded'. The book will chronicle Pippen's career in the NBA, especially his time with the Chicago Bulls as he and Michael Jordan created a dynasty in the Windy City, and became the greatest team of all time.
But Pippen's recent comments about Michael Jordan suggest that things were not always rosy in Chicago. In an excerpt released by GQ, Pippen shares his anger and frustration over 'The Last Dance' documentary. He feels that Michael Jordan used the Bulls' run to further his own name and brand value.
His objections were to how the documentary portrayed Jordan as being superior to the other players of the Bulls, by a great deal. And his mistakes would be glossed over, and not paid attention to, something Pippen and other members of the Bulls were not thrilled about.
"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.” From one season to the next, we received little or no credit whenever we won but the bulk of the criticism when we lost. 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 midfifties, seventeen years since my final game, watching us being demeaned once again. Living through it the first time was insulting enough.
Over the next few weeks, I spoke to a number of my former teammates who each felt as disrespected as I did. How dare Michael treat us that way after everything we did for him and his precious brand. Michael Jordan would never have been Michael Jordan without me, Horace Grant, Toni Kukoc, John Paxson, Steve Kerr, Dennis Rodman, Bill Cartwright, Ron Harper, B. J. Armstrong, Luc Longley, Will Perdue, and Bill Wennington. I apologize to anyone I’ve left out.
I’m not suggesting Michael wouldn’t have been a superstar wherever he ended up. He was that spectacular. Just that he relied on the success we attained as a team—six titles in eight years—to propel him to a level of fame throughout the world no other athlete, except for Muhammad Ali, has reached in modern times.
To make things worse, Michael received $10 million for his role in the doc while my teammates and I didn’t earn a dime, another reminder of the pecking order from the old days. For an entire season, we allowed cameras into the sanctity of our locker rooms, our practices, our hotels, our huddles…our lives."
These aren't the only comments to come out about Jordan from Pippen's book. He also slammed Jordan for being condescending throughout the course of the documentary toward him. He felt as though Jordan's praise for him was transparent and diminished his own contributions to the Bulls' dynasty.
Pippen did claim that Jordan released the documentary to prove to the world that he was the greatest of all time, and larger than LeBron James, who many believe belongs with MJ in that conversation.
While Pippen and Jordan were once considered close friends, their relationship has suffered greatly in the wake of 'The Last Dance' documentary. Regardless of their current troubles, there is no denying that they are one of the greatest duos of all time.