Pippen says he wanted to set the record straight about the team and in particular his portrayal in the 2020 ESPN documentary The Last Dance, which tells the story of the team’s 1995 championship run through the eyes of its leader, Michael Jordan.
But while Pippen has every right to tell his side of the story, it looks like sports writers and audiences aren’t feeling his take.
From USA Today:
Naive, bitter, sad, embarrassing, confusing, jealous, petty, aggrieved, spiteful.
Those are just a few words when it comes to word association with Scottie Pippen and his new book ‘Unguarded.’ The book was released on Tuesday.
Pippen sounds like all of those things, most notably when he goes after former teammate – and former friend? – Michael Jordan.
Pippen is unhappy with his depiction in the ESPN-Jordan documentary ‘The Last Dance,’ which first aired in the spring of 2020 while the NBA was on its COVID-19 hiatus. He feels slighted and wants to settle scores in the book.
“He couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried,” Pippen wrote of Jordan’s role in ‘The Last Dance,’ adding, “Now here I was, in my mid-fifties, seventeen years since my final game, watching us being demeaned once again. Living through it the first time was insulting enough.”
Damn. Ouch. If you didn’t like the book, just say that.
The problem for Pippen is that people aren’t taking exception to his writing or his right to tell it through his own lens; but they are pointing out places where he appears to contradict himself. In a New York Times interview, he denies “walking back” an earlier statement calling his former coach, Phil Jackson, racist, but he skirts whether he still feels that way and doesn’t directly address why he left the anecdote out of the book.
USA Today points out apparent hypocrisy about Jordan, who Pippen spends much of his book criticizing.
While he skewers Jordan in the book, Pippen a decade ago also asked Jordan to be his presenter at the 2010 Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony.
Pippen wanted Jordan there at one of the most special events of his professional career, and in his Hall of Fame speech, Pippen said, “MJ, you have touched so many people’s lives, but none like mine. Thank you for being the best teammate. I will always cherish that experience and I will cherish our relationship forever.”
Whatever has changed, it’s not a good look for Pippen.
Apparently, Scottie had a lot to get off his chest all these years. The question is how many people are here for what he has to say?