Scottie Pippen has made it clear over the last year-plus that he wasn’t a big fan of how he was portrayed in Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance documentary for ESPN.
The former Chicago Bulls star was unhappy with Jordan’s 10-part documentary, which he believes wasn’t completely accurate. Pippen and Jordan won six NBA championships together, but it’s clear they’re not on the best of terms.
Pippen covers all of this in his new book, Unguarded, which comes out on Nov. 9.
GQ Sports published an excerpt of Pippen’s book on Monday.
— GQ Sports (@GQSports) November 2, 2021
Pippen believes that Jordan’s main goal with The Last Dance was to prove that he is better than LeBron James, not tell the story of the 1990s Chicago Bulls.
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.
Pippen said he was insulted by how much the documentary prioritized Jordan over the rest of the team.
“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,” Pippen wrote.
“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.”
Jordan is apparently aware of how Pippen feels, as he discusses a text message conversation with his old teammate in the book excerpt.
Perhaps things can be smoothed out over time, but right now, Jordan and Pippen appear to be on shaky ground.
You can read the full book excerpt here.