When The Last Dance aired in 2020, many saw how the great dynasty of the Chicago Bulls in the 90s ended. However, what many didn’t expect to happen was it also ended the friendship between the most iconic duo ever to play the sport.
Why Pippen was mad about The Last Dance
Scottie Pippen disagreed with how The Last Dance featured him. Pip felt he was just used as a “prop.” Given the massive contributions he made to the success of the Bulls, it’s natural that he felt slighted, as Pippen himself explained in an interview published by GQ.
"Each episode was the same: Michael on a pedestal, his teammates secondary, smaller, the message no different from when he referred to us back then as his 'supporting cast.' From one season to the next, we received little or no credit whenever we won but the bulk of the criticism when we lost.”
Scottie Pippen, GQ
Pippen added that Michael Jordan made tons of money from the docuseries while the rest of their teammates, including him, were not compensated.
The hostile things he said didn’t end there. In his biography entitled “Unguarded,” Scottie called Jordan many things. Phil Jackson wasn’t spared either. With all the things that have been said, Jordan didn’t make an effort to release a statement. His answer was just a cold silence, and it meant a lot.
However, how the things escalated between them tells us it wasn’t just money matters. It was probably something that happened behind the cameras.
Charles Oakley believes MJ-Pippen’s friendship “over” after The Last Dance
For former teammate Charles Oakley, he had expected that the two would have a falling out based on what’s he’d seen up close. In an interview with Bill Simons, the longtime NBA center revealed what he thought ended MJ and Pip’s friendship.
“Yeah, I think it’s over. It wasn’t great from the get-go. [Jordan] always praised Scottie, always praised Scottie. He never talked down about him, but I don’t know what happened since ‘The Last Dance.’ It seems like things just — he probably said, ‘OK, Scottie said this stuff about me. OK, I’m not gonna say nothing.’ He’s not gonna say nothing back in the press, none of that, try to go back to Scottie. He’s just gonna keep doing what he’s doing — play golf, fish, relax and smoke cigars” Oakley ">said to Bill Simmons.
Jordan’s silence amid the accusations thrown against him is like a lion who doesn’t lose a night of sleep over the opinions of a sheep. MJ made so much money he’s not afraid that a few character assassinations would ruin his career. Meanwhile, Pippen's got a job to do: sell his book, and that’s what he did.
Mike and Scottie played like best friends on the court but off it, it was far from reality, at least according to their former teammate Oakley.