Scottie Pippen was reportedly upset with Michael Jordan over “The Last Dance.”
Though he initially downplayed it, Pippen is now opening up about his problems with the documentary.
Pippen in a Q&A with Andrew Anthony of The Guardian:
How accurate was the The Last Dance in showing what went on?
I don’t think it was that accurate in terms of really defining what was accomplished in one of the greatest eras of basketball, but also by two of the greatest players – and one could even put that aside and say the greatest team of all time. I didn’t think those things stood out in the documentary. I thought it was more about Michael trying to uplift himself and to be glorified [the series was co-produced by Jordan’s Jump 23 company]. I think it also backfired to some degree in that people got a chance to see what kind of personality Michael had.
Have you spoken to him about your opinion of series?
Yeah. I told him I wasn’t too pleased with it. He accepted it. He said, “hey, you’re right”. That was pretty much it.
The film was always going to focus on Jordan, for multiple reasons. The biggest: He was the best and most popular player in the world. He was also involved in the production. And – unlike Pippen, who, again, previously denied this disagreement – Jordan was far more candid about his grudges, which makes for better content.
“The Last Dance” was Jordan hagiography. That was acceptable to those of us who just wanted to be entertained.
I can see why it didn’t sit well with Pippen, whom Jordan called selfish for delaying surgery in 1997. Pippen’s on-court contributions to the Bulls’ success weren’t highly emphasized.
Pippen wasn’t alone, either. Multiple former Chicago players were irked by the documentary.
But Pippen can also look himself in the mirror for his portrayal. He demanded a trade multiple times. Even years later, he stood by his refusal to enter with 1.8 seconds left in Game 3 of Bulls-Knicks in 1994.
Those stories, as unflattering as they were for Pippen, were more compelling than simply Chicago being great at basketball.