NBA and Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen is reportedly less than impressed with his portrayal in the recently released documentary series The Last Dance.
Pippen is said to be privately fuming over a number of moments in the series, notably a section in which he was labelled ‘selfish’ for skipping the early part of the Bulls’ final championship season to have surgery.
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Specific comments from Michael Jordan, where he called Pippen’s decision to get surgery ‘selfish’, as well as the suggestion he ‘didn’t know what he was getting into’ have left his former Bulls running mate irritable.
“(Scottie) felt like up until the last few minutes of Game 6 against the Jazz (in 1998), it was just ‘bash Scottie, bash Scottie, bash Scottie,’” Chicago broadcaster David Kaplan said on ESPN radio.
Kaplan continued, saying Pippen was ‘so angry’ and ‘livid’ about his portrayal in the series.
Pippen’s name had been circulating in trade rumours late in the Bulls’ second championship three-peat, with the small forward’s minuscule salary when compared to the rest of his teammates, let alone Jordan himself, proving to be a source of some tension.
Since the release of the documentary, Pippen has been silent on social media.
Scottie Pippen defended by Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman, another Bulls teammate who featured heavily in the series thanks to his oft-unpredictable off-court exploits, came to Pippen’s defence earlier in May.
Speaking to ESPN’s Jackie McMullan, Rodman said Pippen would forever be under-appreciated.
“Scottie was so underrated - and so underpaid. He should be holding his head up higher than Michael Jordan in this documentary,” Rodman said.
“I think a lot of people are now realising what he went through. The kid was a hero, in a lot of ways, during those great Bulls runs.
"He revolutionised the point-forward position. All these players today should thank Scottie Pippen.
“Guys like Kevin Durant should say, 'Wow, look what you did for us.' Scottie could handle, he could shoot the ball, he could defend, he could rebound.
“If LeBron was playing during the '90s, I'd still say Scottie Pippen was the second-best player behind Michael.”
While he’s had plenty of defenders (and his NBA record should speak for itself), Pippen is yet to comment publicly on the series.