Ex-teammate says Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen may never make amends
Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan had a strained relationship before “The Last Dance” was released, but the documentary has seemingly taken the tension to a new level. According to one former Chicago Bulls player, the issues between the two Hall of Famers are unlikely to ever be resolved.
Charles Oakley, who played with Pippen and Jordan in Chicago for a brief time, spoke about the rift between Pippen and M.J. during an appearance on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” this week. He said he was somewhat surprised to see how Pippen was portrayed in “The Last Dance” since Jordan always spoke so highly of Scottie.
“He always praised Scottie, never talked down about him,” Oakley said. “I don’t know what happened since ‘The Last Dance.’ … (Jordan’s) not gonna say nothing in the press and go back at Scottie. He’s just gonna keep doing what he’s doing — play golf, fish and relax and smoke cigars.”
There were a lot of negative things about Pippen in “The Last Dance.” Pippen was shown showing up late for a season because he didn’t want to get surgery over the offseason, which Jordan branded as “selfish.” There was also an in-depth look at Pippen’s refusal to go into a playoff game because Phil Jackson set up a play for Toni Kukoc over him. After the documentary aired, it became clear that Pippen was livid about his portrayal.
Oakley said he doesn’t think Jordan and Pippen will ever bury the hatchet.
“I think it’s over,” Oakley said. “It wasn’t great from the get-go.”
You can hear more of Oakley’s comments below:
— The Ringer (@ringer) January 26, 2022
It has been over a year since “The Last Dance” was released, and Pippen has gone off on Jordan on multiple occasions. He blasted Jordan in several ways in a book he published. Pippen also downplayed one of the most celebrated games of Jordan’s career.
Pippen doesn’t seem like he wants to be friends with Jordan, and the feeling is likely mutual. As Oakley said, their relationship was not in a great place before “The Last Dance.” It may be tarnished beyond repair now, which is a shame considering all they accomplished together on the court.
Photo: Dec 21, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan unveils the new Charlotte Hornets logo at halftime during the game against the Utah Jazz at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports