Scottie Pippen Bashes Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson … Again
Scottie Pippen still has beef with some of his fellow Chicago Bulls legends, and he let everyone know it on the latest episode of the Gimme the Hot Sauce podcast.
Joining former teammate Stacey King, Pippen continued to express immense frustration with The Last Dance docuseries that aired a few years back. The six-time champion criticized Michael Jordan for his locker room presence and aggressive mentality, practically stating that the Bulls won in spite of Jordan’s brash attitude.
“I’ll put it like this, all my years I played in Chicago, played with Michael, I never saw one free agent come to the Bulls and say they want to play there with Michael,” Pippen told King. “I do recall a couple of them coming in there in the offseason when he retired or the two years he was away from the game. So I say that to say this, the success of the Bulls came from the team. It didn’t come from Michael Jordan. It didn’t come from him being critical of other players. If anything, that discouraged players because no player wants to be talked down to, belittled, or even. Made fun of.”
Look, I’m sure the way Jordan approached the game wasn’t for everyone. The man himself even spoke about this in arguably the documentaries most famous moment.
Let me refresh your memory with this:
We can read into the tears all we want, but I think there is likely some piece of Jordan who recognizes that he pushed some away with his intensity. At the same time, I’m not sure he regrets any of that, knowing the level of success he and his teammates were able to reach.
Speaking of which, no one is saying that winning six-straight championships doesn’t take a team-wide effort. I understand that The Last Dance could have focused a little more on the key contributors during that run. Pippen, in particular, probably deserved a little more time under the spotlight. But Michael Jordan is also freakin’ Michael Jordan. To pretend that he didn’t elevate that team and everyone on it to another level is simply denying the truth.
Pippen didn’t stop with MJ. When asked about another recent guest on the podcast, Phil Jackson, Pippen voiced similar resentment.
“Even with the game, I look back at my years playing with the game and how things ended up, I just don’t know if he was ever in my corner,” Pippen said when asked about Jackson. “I say that to say him, as well as Michael, just kind of how things were handled the last couple of years, going through their contract … He became selfish. And when you’re around selfish people, then things just, it really was the breakup of our team. One selfish guy on the team, one selfish guy coaching the team. It was time for a divorce.”
Jackson has given the general public and Pippen more reasons to be frustrated over the years. But to say his or Jordan’s selfishness broke up the 90s Bulls feels a bit misguided. If anything, Krause’s ego played just as big of a role. And sometimes it’s also okay for things to come to a somewhat organic end. It’s hard enough for a team to win two or three, this franchise won six. The change was inevitable.
When asked if he ever saw himself rekindling a relationship with either Jackson or Jordan, Pippen opened his mouth instantly.
“No, I don’t,” Pippen said confidently. “Stacey, you’ve been around Michael, you’ve been around Phil. Their egos are huge. I don’t bow down to people like that.”
It’s unfortunate. I’m not necessarily saying that Pippen has zero reasons to be upset with certain things from the past. But the past is also in the past. At the end of the day, you’d just hope that arguably the greatest dynasty in the history of American sports and the most prolific duo in NBA history can be celebrated for what it is. Despite what Pippen says … maybe one day.