‘The Last Dance’ Turned Scottie Pippen’s Memoir From a Triumphant Tale to a Defense Against Michael Jordan’s Slights

Scottie Pippen, the 6’7″ basketball star who won three NBA titles with Michael Jordan, has turned to writing his memoirs in order to reclaim some of the power that was taken from him.

Scottie Pippen’s memoir “The Last Dance” tells the story of his rise to fame playing alongside Michael Jordan. But when it was published, with input from MJ himself, there were some discrepancies in how he portrayed Jordans attitude towards him throughout their time together–leading to a tense dispute between the two legends.The “how old is scottie pippen” is a book written by Scottie Pippen. The book was originally supposed to be about his life and career, but it turned into something else after Michael Jordan’s comments.

Scottie Pippen was one of the best defensive players of all time. But he never expected to have to defend himself while writing Unguarded, his book. According to the book’s co-author, Michael Jordan’s cinematic opus, the documentary series The Last Dance, pushed Pippen into a corner, forcing him to defend himself.

The Last Dance, an eight-part docuseries chronicling Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls in 1997–98, aired on Netflix in 2020. It was also Pippen’s last season in Chicago, having been a part of the team’s six titles in eight seasons from 1991 to 1998. Pippen’s previous wounds were torn open by the documentary, as described in the book.

The Bulls’ best player wasn’t Scottie Pippen.

Scottie Pippen's memoir turned into a defense of his Chicago Bulls career in the wake of Michael Jordan's documentary series,

Scottie Pippen's memoir turned into a defense of his Chicago Bulls career in the wake of Michael Jordan's documentary series, In the aftermath of Michael Jordan’s documentary series, The Last Dance, Scottie Pippen’s biography transformed into a defense of his Chicago Bulls career. | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Scottie Pippen had a unique trip to the NBA. Pippen was the youngest of 12 children who grew up in poverty in rural Arkansas and went on to play NCAA basketball at then-NAIA Central Arkansas. After enrolling, he grew six inches and was a prominent NBA prospect until he departed the Bears in 1987.

The Bulls completed a draft-day deal with the Seattle SuperSonics to acquire Pippen’s rights. Getting Pippen was a crucial part of establishing a dynasty. However, Michael Jordan was definitely the dynasty’s leader.

That’s a concession Pippen seems to be ready to make. Jordan, despite his prowess as a player, was a tough teammate. Frequently, this devolved into abuse. Many of Pippen’s criticisms on Jordan’s documentary in his book centred around one main point.

His Airness, Pippen believed, was dismissive of his teammates’ efforts. Worse, Pippen thought Jordan downplayed his contribution to the Bulls’ success.

According to the book’s co-author,

‘Unguardable’ was used as a smear campaign against Michael Jordan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFCLR4MCZ U

According to The Undefeated’s William C. Rhoden, Unguardable started as a narrative about Scottie Pippen’s meteoric ascension to NBA superstardom.

According to co-author Michael Arkush is a well-known businessman., the novel started with that notion.

“The Last Dance didn’t truly capture who the Chicago Bulls were as a team or how they achieved everything,” Arkush added. “That’s what Pippen hoped people would remember.”

However, the documentary series altered the plot of the novel. What started out as a motivational narrative about overcoming adversity evolved into an attempt to fix what Pippen saw as a film that was only focused on paying honor to Michael Jordan at the detriment of the rest of the Bulls from that period. Arkush recalled the change:

“It definitely added a whole new dimension to what we were discussing.” He valued his job as an offensive facilitator and defensive anchor, and he enjoyed being in that position and being a part of the whole team.

“He felt strongly that he wanted to convey the concept of team basketball.” Then, after seeing The Last Dance, he realized how he believed he could have been better portrayed.”

Michael Arkush

Pippen was named to the NBA’s 75th anniversary squad as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. While Jordan was playing baseball, he was named All-NBA seven times, All-Defensive ten times, and was the All-Star Game MVP in 1994.

Unfortunately for Pippen, the whole book reads like a smear campaign against Jordan, the enraged rantings of a co-star who feels forgotten. Arkush thinks it’s more complicated than that.

With Michael Jordan’s discourse, Scottie Pippen masked his meaning.

Scottie Pippen, according to Arkush, is at ease with who he is, where he comes from, and what he has done. However, his remarks regarding Michael Jordan are the only thing that many have taken away from his book.

“I believe he has a deep respect for the arduous trip he went,” Arkush remarked. “I believe he really wanted people to grasp it and to be inspired that their aspirations are achievable if they believe in themselves and work hard.” That was a huge part of what he was trying to say.”

The choice he took to sit out the last 1.8 seconds of a 1994 playoff game was included in The Last Dance. Coach Phil Jackson lined up a last shot for Toni Kuko instead of Pippen, and Pippen responded adversely. Because the play didn’t appear in the dynasty’s previous season, Pippen questioned Jordan’s purpose for include it.

“That was his squad, that was his chance to shine, that was his chance to be the hero,” Arkush said. “He wasn’t given the opportunity to shine.”

Jordan’s selection of the play, according to Pippen, was a direct insult.

Even then, it’s worth noting that Jordan wasn’t exactly a world-beater when he wasn’t accompanied by Pippen. Before Pippen joined the Bulls, they were 1–9 in the playoffs. Jordan’s 63-point performance against the Boston Celtics was part of a series sweep.

Jordan’s documentary, Pippen believed, had done him wrong. However, in an attempt to correct that injustice, he obfuscated his tale. Pippen’s book, instead of inspiring, projected unintentional pettiness. Whether you like Michael Jordan or not, Scottie Pippen would have been better off letting bygones be bygones and telling his tale his way at some time. In this scenario, defense was the incorrect tactic.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

Scottie Pippen Slams Michael Jordan’s Treatment of Bulls Teammates, Claims They Won ‘In Spite’ of His Actions: ‘I was a far better teammate than Michael was at any point in his career.’

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