Several former Chicago Bulls players believe Scottie Pippen got the short end of the straw during “The Last Dance” documentary and feel he should have been portrayed better.
Craig Hodges, Bill Cartwright and Horace Grant discussed Pippen’s portrayal in discussion with BetOnline on Wednesday. All three former players felt Pippen should have been treated more fairly and that Chicago may not have had some of its great success without Pippen.
The players mentioned Pippen electing not to rehab an injury until the start of the 1997-98 season and how Pippen sat for the final seconds of a 1994 playoff game against the New York, which the documentary revealed was addressed in the locker room after the game.
“It was straight-up bulls—t. It was straight-up bulls—t how they portrayed Scottie,” Grant said. “First off, being the No. 2 on that team and how he came out in terms of against Utah could barely walk, setting screens, getting knocked on the floor, the whole nine yards, and for them, that documentary, to call him…well, MJ called him selfish, that’s some BS. That’s straight-up BS.
“If it wasn’t for Scottie Pippen there would be no six championships. I’m telling you right now guys. The first championship I think MJ got in foul trouble against the Lakers and who came to the rescue? No. 33. Scottie Pippen. Scottie Pippen. Yes, he made a mistake. We addressed that after the game. And then it was over with and we took the Knicks to seven games. My question is: How in the hell did that get on this documentary when MJ’s a-s wasn’t even on the team.”
Cartwright said that the 1993-94 season was when Pippen evolved as a player because he didn’t have Jordan and made a mistake in the infamous Knicks game.
“It’s interesting that when the play when Pip did not come back in the game, that was Pip’s best year. He had evolved into a leadership role, played great,” Cartwright said. “To me, people make mistakes and then you move on from them. I think Scottie has a big heart. And when I first got to the Bulls he wasn’t a great shooter, skinny, extraordinarily talented, so everything he had he worked for. For me Pip was a great teammate and like I said it was one man’s show and that’s what they saw. But that’s not really reality.”
Hodges was Pippen’s teammate for the final four years of his career, from 1989 to 1992. He said he feels like Michael Jordan would not have won anything without Pippen.
“I’m still kind of upset about it because I know the type of brother that Scottie is. Scottie is the type of brother, I wasn’t part of the team when he didn’t stand up and come back out and play during that play, but I know that Scottie is the type of cat that will give his shirt for you, go on the ground for you and kick out the shot for you. I didn’t like how he was portrayed and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it and I’m still trying to figure that out,” Hodges said.
“Without Scottie, MJ would not have won. It’s like all the brothers sitting here. It’s almost like MJ won in a vacuum and it wasn’t anything like that. To throw your brother, especially no. 33, under the bus, that wasn’t cool.”
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According to David Kaplan of ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Pippen, who won six NBA championships with Jordan and the Chicago Bulls during the ‘90s, is “so angry” and “beyond livid” at his teammate for how he came across in the documentary.
Pippen’s unhappiness derives from Jordan calling him "selfish" and that he "didn't realize what he was getting himself into" with the 10-part series that spanned five weeks.
"[Pippen] felt like up until the last few minutes of Game 6 against the Jazz [in the 1998 NBA Finals], it was just 'bash Scottie, bash Scottie, bash Scottie,'" Kaplan said Wednesday.
Fox News’ Dan Canova contributed to this report.