Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen has continued his barrage of attacks on former teammate Michael Jordan as he accused the five-time MVP of ‘ruining’ basketball.
Pippen was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics in 1987 but the Bulls traded for the rangy forward, setting up a partnership with Jordan that dominated the NBA as Chicago claimed six NBA championships in the 1990s.
However, Jordan’s docuseries The Last Dance – a 10-part series about the legendary Bulls team that was released by ESPN in early 2020 – has seemingly driven a wedge between the two players, with Pippen upset by how he was confined to the role of sidekick.
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Pippen, who last played in the NBA in 2004 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010, criticised the series for focusing significantly on Jordan rather than acting as an account of the team as a whole.
Pippen has fired another shot at Jordan, who is worth approximately £1.2billion due to the Air Jordan brand and his ownership of the Charlotte Hornets, in his book Unguarded.
The 56-year-old believes Jordan was too selfish as a player – and even declared LeBron James is the best player in league history.
“I may go as far to say Mike ruined basketball,” Pippen wrote. “In the 1980s on the playgrounds, you’d have everyone played moving the ball around – passing to help the team.
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“That stopped in the 1990s. Kids wanted to be ‘Like Mike’.
“Well, Mike didn’t want to pass – he didn’t want to rebound or defend the best player. He wanted everything done for him.
“That’s why I always believed LeBron James was the greatest player this game has ever seen – he does everything and embodies what the game is truly about.”
The Last Dance was co-produced by Jordan’s Jump 23 company, and Pippen felt Jordan was essentially a producer of a story where other members of the team had larger roles.
Pippen wants to use Unguarded to tell his side and explain why the Bulls of the 1990s were not simply about Jordan.