Michael Jordan was ‘a horrible player’, says Scottie Pippen

(CNN) — Between 1990 and 1998, the Chicago Bulls won six NBA championships, arguably the longest streak in North American sports history. In fact, the only two years the Bulls didn’t win the title was when Michael Jordan tried his hand at baseball.

The streak was spearheaded by Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, but this level of success wouldn’t have been possible without a companion number 2, his Batman’s Robin, which in this case was Scottie Pippen.

The key roles played by ‘His Airness’ and Pippen in the Chicago hit were featured prominently in Netflix’s ‘The Last Dance’, the critically acclaimed documentary series detailing Jordan’s tenure in the franchise, particularly his final year. with the team in 1997/98. season.

However, Pippen described Jordan as a “horrible player” speaking on former Bulls teammate Stacey King’s “Gimme the Hot Sauce” podcast on Friday.

“I watched Michael Jordan play before he came to the Bulls. You watched him play…He was horrible to play with. It was all one-on-one, pulling bad shots. Suddenly we became a team and we started winning. Everyone forgot who he was. He was a player who wasn’t really at the top of his game. He was a goalscorer.”

Pippen and Jordan look on during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on January 17, 1997. Credit: Noren Trotman/NBAE/Getty Images

Jordan played three seasons with the Bulls before Pippen was signed by Chicago. In the 1986/87 season, Jordan averaged 37.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.9 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game.

Pippen appeared to double down on his comments and his own impact on the league a day after appearing on the podcast in an Instagram post featuring a photo of himself from his youth along with the caption: “From humble beginnings to 6 championships, 2 medals Gold, Hall of Famer and lead the Bulls franchise with the most playoff wins. Here come the unsung heroes…Cheers!”

In the interview with King’s podcast, Pippen also praised Lakers star LeBron James, the player many debate is Jordan’s equal, if not superior.

“LeBron will be the best statistician to ever play basketball,” Pippen said. “And there’s no comparison to him. None. So does that make him the best player ever?”

Hall of Famer Pippen also hasn’t been afraid to express his feelings for Jordan in the past.

Shortly after “The Last Dance” premiered, Pippen said he was “just a prop” in the 10-part docuseries.

“They glorified Michael Jordan without enough praise for me and my proud teammates,” Pippen wrote in his memoir, “Unguarded.” “Michael deserved much of the blame. The producers had given him editorial control of the final product. The documentary could not have been released any other way. He was the lead and director.”

He added: “Even in the second episode, which for a time focused on my difficult upbringing and my unlikely path to the NBA, the narrative returned to MJ and his determination to win. I was nothing more than a prop. His “best” all-time teammate,” he called me. He couldn’t have been more condescending if he had tried.”

“Each episode was the same: Michael on a pedestal, his smaller supporting castmates, the message was no different than when he called us his ‘support cast’ then. From season to season, we have always received little or no credit. we won, but most criticism when we lost”.

“Michael could shoot 6 for 24 from the field, commit five turnovers, and he was still, in the minds of the media and the public, the Jordan who doesn’t make mistakes… Now there I was, in the middle of my 50 years, 17 years after my last match, to see us degrade once again. To experience this the first time was already insulting enough.

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Pippen and Jordan try to stop Kobe Bryant during a game in February 1998. Credit: Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images

Jordan had yet to comment on Pippen’s anger at him, but according to sportswriter Jackie MacMullan on the “Hoop Collective” podcast after a conversation the two had for his podcast, Jordan seemed taken aback by the recent remarks.

“I don’t think he was particularly thrilled with the sequels to ‘The Last Dance’ and some of the things that he was treated to,” MacMullan said. “I think some of them threw him off a bit, really.”

CNN has reached out to the Charlotte Hornets, the team Jordan owns, to offer the right of reply.

Pippen’s recent comments mark a departure from statements he’s made in the past about comparisons between Jordan and James.

“Michael Jordan was the greatest to ever put on a shoe and play in our game. There’s no question about that,” Pippen said in 2018 on ESPN.

“I always get asked to compare him to LeBron. I try to make the most of it. But really, the comparison should never be made. They both play in two different positions. The way LeBron James plays, Michael Jordan was never asked to play like that. because I took that place. I was the point guard. I was the facilitator. Michael Jordan was a scorer. He was a defender. He played as complete than LeBron James when he needed to. But he was asked to score and he was great at it.”

“And there’s no game in which I would take LeBron James over Michael Jordan. Not if I’m trying to win. I’m not going to abandon my teammate who I won six championships with and go fishing in a pond in thinking I’m going to catch a bigger and better fish.”

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