Over the last few days, the NBA media space has been taken over by Scottie Pippen. Whether you think that was his intention in the first place, it's up to you. But the fact is, everyone's talking about a segment from his upcoming book "Unguarded" where Pip threw shade at Michael Jordan. And while most scorn Pippen's version of the"I want my damn respect"campaign, ESPN's Jalen Rose thinks he's right to do it.
Pippen bashing Jordan over "The Last Dance"
From taking subtle shots like the one while announcing the memoir to calling MJ's departure to play basketball "a selfish decision," to saying the famous pass to Kerr happened only because the documentary was being filmed – it seemed Pippen wasn't happy with the way "The Last Dance" portrayed the Bulls. An excerpt from his upcoming book proved it.
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. Michael could shoot 6 for 24 from the field, commit 5 turnovers, and he was still, in the minds of the adoring press and public, the Errorless Jordan.
Scottie Pippen, "Unguarded" via GQ
Pippen then accused Michal of doing the documentary because his GOAT status came into question. He also took a shot at him for "receiving $10 million for his role in the doc," while the rest of the Bulls, despite also allowing cameras in their lives for an entire season, "didn't earn a dime."
Jalen Rose comes to Pip's defense
Overall, Pippen viewed "The Last Dance" as a homage to No.23 rather than a celebration of the greatest team in NBA history. He especially wasn't happy with the way the doc portrayed him -- "MJ's favorite teammate ever." Pip felt Michael used him as a prop, and ESPN's Jalen Rose felt obligated to come to his defense.
"He's the most disrespected all-time great player in any sport that any game has seen," Rose said. "It's not even close. Michael Jordan wouldn't win any championships without Scottie Pippen. But let me tell you why the public gets to denounce the role of Scottie Pippen."
Number one -- we always want to give the best player of all the credit. When we're talking about Jordan, we don't even mention Phil Jackson. Phil went and won five more championships after he left the Bulls. Number two -unfortunately for Scottie, when you look back at those championship runs, he doesn't have like the signature moment. Just think about this, have you ever seen Scottie Pippen make a game-winning shot? When you play with Michael Jordan, you didn't get the chance to take the game-winning shot most of the time.
Jalen Rose, Jalen & Jacoby
When we're talking about the greatest dynasty in NBA history, we do mention Phil Jackson. We also mention Pippen, even Rodman or Kukoč at times. But we mainly talk about MJ, the same way we associate any great team with their best individual performer.
Does that mean we disrespect Pippen in the process? I don't think so. After putting him on the 75th Anniversary team, it seems the NBA doesn't think so. And judging by everything MJ was saying about him prior to the doc, it seems he also doesn't think so.
It doesn't mean Scottie's criticism of the doc isn't fair -- it's hard to argue against "The Last Dance" being too MJ-centric. But did anyone expect a different outcome in a scenario where MJ had total editorial control over the doc? I didn't. Pip obviously did.