The Chicago Bulls era of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and the squad of championship characters will forever live in infamy.
However, ever since the airing of ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentary “The Last Dance,” Pippen has been vocal about his time on the team.
In Pippen’s new autobiography, “Unguarded,” he keeps it honest about his thoughts on his forever basketball partner Michael Jordan.
It just got real!!! The finished product has arrived, and I can’t wait for you to read it. I’ve always believed it’s all about the journey and I promise you, mine has been unlike anyone else’s. It was my time to tell my story and I hope you enjoy it.https://t.co/K4XWR9EcTx pic.twitter.com/CzYAhes5HM
— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) October 28, 2021
Pippen opens up about how he feels “The Last Dance” failed to exhibit the teamwork dynamic that made the ’97-’98 Bulls. Instead, Pippen feels that Jordan, who he claims had “editorial control of the final project,” used the documentary as a personal propaganda piece.
GQ published an excerpt of Pippen’s feelings from the book.
Keeping It Real
“My years in Chicago, beginning as a rookie in the fall of 1987, were the most rewarding of my career: twelve men coming together as one, fulfilling the dreams we had as kids in playgrounds across the land when all we needed was a ball, a basket, and our imagination,” said Pippen. “To be a member of the Bulls during the 1990s was to be part of something magical. For our times and for all time.
“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.”
How will you be reading UNGUARDED?! I got my Digits and a good smoke.. pic.twitter.com/TsezMUfYsx
— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) October 31, 2021
Pippen revealed his animus at Jordan for skewing the narrative of his Bulls experience. During that time of the documentary’s release, the world was at a standstill and starved for entertainment during the pandemic.
“Even in the second episode, which focused for a while on my difficult upbringing and unlikely path to the NBA, the narrative returned to MJ and his determination to win. 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.”
.@ScottiePippen says that Michael Jordan was determined to prove that he was bigger than LeBron James, instead of telling the team's story in 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘋𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 https://t.co/pCUs8Qjlwk pic.twitter.com/iDpEUBL3xH
— GQ Sports (@GQSports) November 2, 2021
To make matters worse for Pippen, he revealed, “Michael received $10 million for his role in the doc while my teammates and I didn’t earn a dime, another reminder of the pecking order from the old days.”
Everybody Hates Mike
Pippen declared that he spoke with many of his former teammates, and they were all as disappointed with the documentary as he was.
S/O Scottie Pippen on this GQ sports account today https://t.co/Ca9iLoFYDm
— Drew Benedict (@drewbenedict03) November 2, 2021
“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.
“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.
“Over the next few weeks, I spoke to a number of my former teammates who each felt as disrespected as I did.”
Not The Supporting Cast
Pippen feels that he and his teammates that supported Jordan, making him a global brand, have never received respect. While a nostalgic touchpoint for most of the world, “The Last Dance” only conjured bad memories for Pippen.
I reckon when Michael Jordan reads what Scottie Pippen has said about him in GQ…
He's gonna take that personally.
— Mike Winnet (@mike_winnet) November 2, 2021
With the release of “Unguarded” on Nov. 9, Pippen has a chance to tell his side of the story minus the Jordan spin.