Michael Jordan is generally considered the GOAT of basketball, and his trophy cabinet would back that up. 6 championships and 10 scoring titles would certainly support that notion. However, there are others who are in the GOAT conversation, such as LeBron James.
The Last Dance documentary was released in 2020, drawing widespread praise for the insight it provided into Michael Jordan's life and career. There's no question that many fans enjoyed watching Jordan's journey.
However, Scottie Pippen has recently claimed that "The Last Dance" served another purpose than just documenting the Bulls' last championship. GQ has recently posted an excerpt from Pippen's upcoming book, Unguarded, where Pippen states that Jordan's goal with the documentary was to show the world that he was "still larger" than LeBron James.
“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,” 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 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,’ as our coach, Phil Jackson, billed the 1997–98 season once it became obvious the two Jerrys (owner Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Jerry Krause) were intent on breaking up the gang no matter what happened.”
It was previously reported that Scottie Pippen was unhappy with how he was portrayed in The Last Dance, as well as stating that Jordan was "trying to uplift himself" and "be glorified". There is no question that this excerpt from the book shows a similar attitude from Pippen.
At the end of the day, those Chicago Bulls do not win a championship without Michael Jordan. He was the fulcrum of their offense, and there's a reason that he won 6 Finals MVPs. He was also a big cultural influence on the sport of basketball. Perhaps the media coverage played a hand in how Michael Jordan was perceived, but there was a good reason for that coverage. Many players knew just how good Michael Jordan was, and it is clear that he is still revered even today, even with people like LeBron James vying for the GOAT crown.