Scottie Pippen Denies Rift With Michael Jordan Depicted ‘In The Last Dance’
Both Pippen and Jordan are portrayed in the ESPN documentary which tells the story of the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-1998 season. During that year, the team won its sixth championship in eight seasons.
The rift between Pippen and Jordan is shown in one episode of the series, which allegedly started when Jordan said he found Pippen’s decision to delay his ankle surgery until after the season began, “selfish.”
Pippen said during his interview that he is not offended by his former teammate’s assessment.
“Why would I be offended by anything that happened 30 years ago?” Pippen said. “I wasn’t upset about it. It didn’t bother me at all,” he continued.
Pippen went on to talk positively about the documentary. “It was an opportunity for our younger generation that hadn’t seen or knew anything about basketball in the 90s.”
Before the docuseries premiered in April, Jordan was worried fans would watch the footage and then see him as a “horrible guy.”
During an interview with The Atlantic, Jordan said, “When people see this footage I’m not sure they’re going to be able to understand why I was so intense, why I did the things I did, why I acted the way I acted, and why I said the things I said.”
He continued, “When you see the footage of [me riding with Scott Burrell], you’re going to think that I’m a horrible guy. But you have to realize that the reason why I was treating him like that is because I needed him to be tough in the playoffs and we’re facing the Indiana’s and Miami’s and New York’s in the Eastern Conference.”
“He needed to be tough and I needed to know that I could count on him. And those are the kind of things where people see me acting the way I acted in practice, they’re not going to understand it,” Jordan said.
The Last Dance is now available for streaming on Netflix.