Sports Take: Scottie Pippen is right to bash Michael Jordan

By Michael Haag | Sports Writer

Six-time champion Scottie Pippen has been in the news recently for his comments toward former Chicago Bulls teammate Michael Jordan in his new memoir “Unguarded.” Jordan, often regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time, came out with a documentary in 2020 called “The Last Dance,” highlighting his career and title runs with the Chicago Bulls. Pippen, along with other teammates were featured in this documentary, but the documentary was focused on Jordan. In the memoir, Pippen spoke his mind, bashing Jordan and calling him out for the way he handled the documentary. After hearing his side of things and watching “The Last Dance” myself, I find that Pippen is right to call Jordan out.

Pippen’s career is very underrated as a whole, playing the “Robin” role to Jordan’s “Batman.” Unfortunately for Pippen, he will never get talked about the way that he probably should be. His best season came in 1993-1994 when he put up 22.0 points, 5.6 assists and 8.7 rebounds per game. Pippen has always been known as one of the best wing defenders of all time, but there was much more to his game than that and he has an underrated resume. Pippen deserves more credit for what he did during his career overall.

To Jordan, the show was always all about him, and Pippen felt that he deserved to be talked about better. In an interview from the New York Times, Pippen said that Jordan’s documentary solidified his belief that the spotlight has always been on Jordan — and that Jordan did nothing to change that.

“I think he’s always separated himself a little bit from what I consider the traditional team concept, in some sense,” Pippen said. “And I think ‘The Last Dance’ just put the icing on the cake. So, it was all about him at the end of the day.”

In his book, Pippen said that “Michael [Jordan] and I aren’t close and never have been.” The documentary, at points, made it seem like they were close and worked really well together as a duo on the court. “The Last Dance” was made through the lens of Jordan though, which could’ve skewed the narrative. It’s interesting to hear Pippen now come out and say this, as even after winning six rings together, he doesn’t consider Jordan to be a close friend. This makes me question what more was going down behind the scenes that Jordan hid to protect his persona.

The memoir also brought up a point about the revenue that “The Last Dance” made.

“To make things worse, Michael received $10 million for his role in the doc while my teammates and I didn’t earn a dime,” Pippen said. The documentary showed lots of players that were on the Bulls in the 1990s giving their input to help complete the production. If what Pippen is saying is true, then that is absolutely horrific on Jordan’s end.

Jordan has been labeled as a toxic and bad teammate, but this is nothing new. Even Jordan’s documentary showed how hard Jordan was on his teammates, yet they twisted it, making it seem like it’s what helped them win so many championships. After watching the Netflix series for himself, Pippen said that “Seeing again how poorly Michael treated his teammates, I cringed as I did back then.” At this point you can’t help but feel for the guy after having to deal with being second fiddle to Jordan along with the verbal abuse all those years.

Jordan is one of the best winners this world has ever seen, and by far one of the greatest athletes ever. That doesn’t excuse him for his horrible treatment of teammates and co-star Pippen. Jordan struggled throughout his career before Pippen arrived, and it’s a shame that he doesn’t show more gratitude and respect after the fact. Pippen has every right to bash Jordan and speak his mind after what he had to go through during those championship runs.