- In an interview, Scottie Pippen said former Bulls head coach Phil Jackson was racist.
- Pippen also said Michael Jordan’s warning to Steve Kerr in the 1997 Finals was “rehearsed.”
- Pippen said he had not recently spoken with Jordan and did not feel the need to talk to him.
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The NBA legend Scottie Pippen did not hold back while discussing his former coach Phil Jackson and teammate Michael Jordan during an interview with Dan Patrick.
Pippen was asked about his infamous decision to sit out of the final play of a 1994 playoff game because Jackson had called for Chicago Bulls rookie forward Toni Kukoc to take the final shot instead of Pippen. Pippen refused to go in the game, and Kukoc went on to hit the winning shot.
In a recent interview with GQ, Pippen called Jackson’s decision “racial” and said it was designed to give Kukoc “a rise.”
Pippen doubled down on those comments to Patrick.
“If you knew that Scottie Pippen had been with the Bulls from , battled through the Pistons and every other team we had to get to those three championships, wouldn’t you give Scottie Pippen one opportunity to get a last-second shot?” Pippen said. “Without Michael Jordan. One year without Michael Jordan, can I get one shot? I’m doing all the dirty work.
“Why would Toni, who was a rookie, get the last-second shot, and you put me out of bounds? That’s what I mean [by] ‘racial.’ That was Scottie Pippen’s team. Scottie Pippen was on pace to be an MVP that year, right? OK, well, why would you put him in a position not to be successful? Why wouldn’t you put him in a position to succeed?”
When Patrick said Pippen was calling Jackson a racist, Pippen said, “I don’t got a problem with that.”
Patrick asked Pippen whether he thought Jackson was or is racist, and Pippen said, “Oh yeah.”
The conversation then steered into Steve Kerr’s winning shot in the 1997 Finals, which came off of a pass from Jordan when Utah Jazz guard John Stockon had left Kerr to double-team Jordan. Cameras had caught Jordan in the huddle, telling Kerr to be ready if Stockton left him.
Pippen told Patrick the moment was “rehearsed,” saying the cameras that caught the moment were there to capture footage for Jordan-related projects.”You know all those cameras that’s sitting in that huddle, who they’re working for?” Pippen said. “You know who Michael was speaking to when he said that, right?
‘That was planned. That was speaking to the camera. That wasn’t speaking out of what we’re going to have to do, what the play’s going to be. That was speaking to the camera … So, all those cameras that was working, were working basically for Michael Jordan, not for the Chicago Bulls … That was not naturally spoken. That was rehearsed.”
Pippen told Patrick he spoke with Jordan only briefly during “The Last Dance,” an eight-part docuseries Jordan helped produce about the 1997-1998 Bulls, but not since. Pippen previously said he didn’t care for how he was depicted in the series.
“I think we’ve both moved on in our life,” Pippen said. “There’s nothing to be holding onto that went on 20-plus years ago. There’s nothing for us to talk about [that is basketball-related]. We could talk about our life, our families, and our golf games or something, but we ain’t got to go back and clarify nothing that went on in the ’90s.”
Pippen told Patrick he’s not “angry” about anything, only seeking “clarification” about what he thought really happened with the ’90s Bulls teams.
Watch the interview below: