Sports fans have been filling up social media with discussions about The Last Dance. Released on ESPN, the documentary followed the final season of NBA legend Michael Jordan. One person who’s reportedly not pleased with the series is Jordan’s former teammate Scottie Pippen.
Scottie’s Not Okay?
A bevy of Pippen’s closest friends told ESPN that the former player is upset with his portrayal on the show. Many people are pointing to Pippen’s social media as a sign of anger. Following the show’s premiere, Pippen didn’t post on either Twitter or Instagram. The basketball star normally shares things with fans on these platforms every day. On May 22, 2020, however, Pippen broke his silence to pay tribute to former Bulls player Jerry Sloan.
Rodman By His Side
Pippen had one person standing up for him during this radio silence: Dennis Rodman. The former Chicago Bulls star defended Pippen in an ESPN interview. “I wish he [Pippen] didn’t give a s— like me about what people say,” Rodman told ESPN. When Rodman arrived to the Bulls in 1995, he already acquired a bad-boy reputation. His run with the San Antonio Spurs was filled with questionable antics, including constantly dyeing his hair. Much like his Spurs stint, Rodman’s Bulls run featured some shocking moments. Despite this, he managed to aid Pippen and Jordan in obtaining three consecutive NBA Championships.
To Rodman, Pippen is someone who should be given more credit for his work. “Scottie was so underrated — and so underpaid. He should be holding his head up higher than Michael Jordan in this documentary,” Rodman also told ESPN. “I think a lot of people are now realizing what he went through. The kid was a hero, in a lot of ways, during those great Bulls runs.”
Pippen’s Time To Shine
When Jordan exited the Bulls in 1993, Pippen was pushed into the limelight. With all eyes on him, Pippen did what he could to help the team reach the NBA Finals again. During the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals, however, Pippen was launched into a slew of controversial plays. One play involved him sitting out after coach Phil Jackson didn’t let him take the game-winning shot. While the Bulls did beat the New York Knicks in that game, everyone’s attention turned to Pippen and Jackson. Game six of the semifinals found Pippen taunting a fallen Patrick Ewing and director Spike Lee following a two-pointer. In game seven, the Bulls lost the semifinals to the Knicks, 87–77.
Following the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Pippen was on the chopping block. Pippen was rumored to be traded to the Seattle Supersonics for Shawn Kemp. At the time, the Bulls’ management figured Kemp would be a better fit for the team. Fortunately, Pippen stayed with the Bulls after Jordan announced his return for the 1994–95 season.
Photo Courtesy: [Uninterrupted/YouTube]
Considered One Of The Greats
Whether or not Pippen is actually upset with the show remains to be seen. In the end, Pippen is proud of what he accomplished during his time in the NBA. With six NBA Championships, Pippen is tied for 10th place for most NBA Championships earned by a player. Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bob Cousy also hold six titles in their name. In 2010, Pippen earned his way into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame twice. Pippen earned spots through his singles career and time with the 1992 United States Olympic Team. The following year, the Bulls unveiled a statue of Pippen inside the United Center.
For now, Pippen has been busy checking out rising talent in the NBA. Pippen is also having fun watching his nephew Kavion play for NBA G League team the Austin Spurs. Regardless of whether he is upset or not, for many basketball fans, Pippen will always be a major part of Bulls history.
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