While the general viewing public thoroughly enjoyed the 10 hours of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” docu-series over the last five weeks, add Scottie Pippen to the list of Michael Jordan’s former teammates who did not enjoy their personal portrayal in the film. Just a day after Horace Grant lashed out at Michael Jordan calling him a ‘snitch’ and a ‘liar’, Pippen broke his silence on the documentary, and apparently he was not happy.
David Kaplan of ESPN 1000’s Kap and Co radio show, who also had the interview with Horace Grant, apparently spoke with Scottie off the air and shared some of his views to his radio audience. “He is beyond livid. He is so angry at Michael and how he was portrayed, called selfish, called this, called that, that he’s furious that he participated and did not realize what he was getting himself into,” said Kaplan.
Interviews in early episodes of the series include Jordan calling his longtime wingman “selfish” over a contract dispute ahead of the ‘97-’98 season and opting for a surgery at a late date knowing he would miss part of the regular season as a result. Jordan also expressed his doubts over a migraine that compromised Pippen’s performance in Game 7 of the 1990 Eastern Conference finals, when the Bulls were defeated by the Detroit Pistons.
Another episode devotes a lengthy segment to Pippen’s infamous decision to not re-enter the final 1.8 seconds of Game 3 of Chicago’s 1994 Eastern Conference semi-final series against the New York Knicks because Toni Kukoc was given the final shot over him. Jordan wasn’t even on the team at the time, and Pippen, like Horace Grant, questioned why this part was even included in the doc. “Pippen felt like up until the last few minutes of Game 6 against the Jazz, in the 1998 NBA finals, during the series’ last episode, it was just ‘bash Scottie, bash Scottie, bash Scottie,’” Kaplan said.
In May, ESPN’s Jackie McMullan hinted at Pippen’s disappointment with the production, saying: “Those close to him say he’s wounded and disappointed by his portrayal.” Jordan did say before the documentary was released that it will make him, Jordan, look like an a**hole. Maybe this is what he meant, knowing how some former teammates would react. While Pippen shared some thoughts off the air with David Kaplan, he has yet to publicly comment, unlike Grant who was quite public with his words. It will be interesting to see if Pippen decides to speak publicly over the next couple weeks.