So, Scottie Pippen Said Some Stuff About Phil Jackson

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So, Scottie Pippen Said Some Stuff About Phil Jackson

Chicago Bulls

Only a few days after an explosive Scottie Pippen interview with GQ hit the internet, the Bulls legend is back making headlines.

In an appearance on The Dan Partick Show Monday morning, Pippen was asked about the comment he made in the GQ article about Game 3 of the 1994 playoffs. Pippen famously decided to sit on the final 1.8 seconds of that close contest after head coach Phil Jackson drew up a final shot for Toni Kukoc. In Pippen’s talk with Tyler R. Tynes of GQ, he said Jackson’s decision was a “racial move,” one that was supposed to give Kukoc some extra attention.

I thought it was a pretty low blow. I felt like it was an opportunity to give [Kukoc] a rise. It was a racial move to give him a rise. After all I’ve been through with this organization, now you’re gonna tell me to take the ball out and throw it to Toni Kukoc? You’re insulting me. That’s how I felt.

Dan Patrick tried to have Pippen clarify his use of “racial move” on Monday’s show, asking him directly whether or not he believed Jackson was a racist.

Here’s some text from the interview:

SP: “Why would Tony, who is a rookie, get the last-second shot and you put me out of bounds? That is what I mean racial. That was Scottie Pippen’s team. Scottie Pippen was on pace to be an MVP that year, right? Okay, well why would you put him in a position not to be successful? Why wouldn’t you put him in a position to succeed? Michael Jordan is not there, so who’s next in line for you?”

DP: “But have you talked to Phil about this? Because, by calling this a racial move, you’re calling Phil a racist.”

SP: “I don’t got a problem with that.”

DP: “Do you think Phil was or is?”

SP: “Uh, yeah. Do you remember Phil Jackson left the Lakers, went and wrote a book on Kobe Bryant and then came back and coached him. I mean, who would do that? You name someone in professional sports that would do that, ya know.”

And here’s a look at the extended video clip:

Pippen went on to bash Jackson for trying to “belittle” and expose Kobe Bryant in his book. Patrick then commented that Jackson sounded perhaps more disloyal than racist, which provoked Pippen to respond, “that is your way of looking at it, and I have my way.”

To a certain extent, Pippen is correct: We did not see things through the same lens Pippen did.

Some of his comments may be surprising after more than two decades, but we can’t just discredit his perception/feelings/attitude out of hand. He is allowed to feel how he wants. Not to mention, it is not as if there has not been controversy around Jackson before. Folks online were quick to point to other instances where Jackson made, what appeared to be, racially charged comments.


At the same time, there is no way to know whether that final play call truly came from a place of prejudice. Kukoc may have been a rookie, but he also possessed one hell of a sweet jumper. Thanks to the fine work of Jack M. Silverstein, it appears we also know there was a precedent already set for this play working in the clutch.

If I had to guess, this is not the last time we will talk about Pippen over the next few months.

Anyway, the Bulls six-time champ went on to talk more about his relationship with Michael Jordan and the upcoming release of his new book, so make sure to check out the entire interview below.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.