Scottie Pippen has a taken shots at Michael Jordan and the ESPN documentary 'The Last Dance' in his new memoir. The already-iconic documentary showcased the Chicago Bulls 1997-98 NBA season, the last season before the greatest basketball team of all time was broken up, which was also the last season of Michael Jordan's Bulls career. Jordan is of course regarded as one of the best players of all time. But Scottie Pippen and the entire Bulls squad are legendary in their own right.
That's the crux of the matter Pippen has with The Last Dance. He felt like the documentary glorified Jordan and demeaned the rest of the Bulls. According to Pippen, the Bulls were a great team that helped Jordan win six NBA Championships, but not a team #23 carried to championships.
There was a lot of quality in that team, Pippen and his enigmatic former Bulls teammate Dennis Rodman both made it onto the NBA's 75th Anniversary team.
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) October 21, 2021
The documentary was centred on Michael Jordan's career and cast him as the main character. In an excerpt from his memoir published in GQ yesterday, Pippen had some scathing comments about the documentary and its star.
I was nothing more than a prop. His “best teammate of all time,” he called me. He couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried.
On second thought, I could believe my eyes. I spent a lot of time around the man. I knew what made him tick. How naïve I was to expect anything else.
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.
Let’s just say Scottie Pippen was not a big fan of The Last Dance 😂 pic.twitter.com/5nR0tdRB1U
— hoopsallin (@hoopsallin_) November 3, 2021
Pippen then went further in on his shots on Michael Jordan's ego and personality. If you saw "The Last Dance" then you would know that Jordan is a very competitive guy. He wants to be the best at everything he does. Pippen is unimpressed with how Jordan orchestrated the film to evolve around him and not the whole team.
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 isn't alone in his criticism of the documentary. A number of players have come out against the legitimacy of the documentary, including Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright and Ron Harper.
You can read the full excerpt from GQ here.