If there was a perception of a beef between NBA legends Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, any inference of bitterness between the former Chicago Bulls teammates isn’t true, Pippen is now saying.
“Why would I be offended by anything that happened 30 years ago?” Pippen said in an interview with the Associated Press. He was speaking about segments in the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” in which Jordan largely praised Pippen, but was critical in one of them.
In the second episode of the 10-part miniseries, Jordan criticized Pippen as “selfish” when he decided not to have surgery on his ankle during the offseason, instead waiting until the beginning of the 1997-98 season. There had also been discussion that Pippen was underpaid for his contributions to the Bulls, who won six NBA titles with both men leading the team. Jordan said in the film that he did not understand Pippen’s decision.
But despite reports that Pippen was not happy with how he was portrayed in the documentary, he downplayed those notions. He also says he has spoken with Jordan since its airing.
“It didn’t bother me at all,” Pippen said. “It was an opportunity for our younger generation that hadn’t seen or knew anything about basketball in the ’90s.”
“The Last Dance” aired during April and May on ESPN and chronicled Jordan’s career over his years with the Bulls. It was a ratings winner, bringing in sports fans hungry for content during the coronavirus pandemic, averaging 5.6 million viewers, the AP said.