The (one-sided) beef between Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan is pretty well known to basketball fans by this point. For the past several months, Pippen has not thinned words when discussing the state of his relationship with his former teammate. He’s spoken on a number of topics, from Jordan’s style of play to the businessman’s involvement in ESPN’s The Last Dance (which generated backlash that Jordan apparently wasn’t expecting). Now, Pippen has thrown a little more shade at his fellow hall of famer, which prompted a former NBA coach to share an honest take.
Scottie Pippen caught up with French sports news outlet TrashTalk, during which he discussed his career and other topics. Amid the conversation, talk turned to Pippen’s skills as a defensive player, and he addressed why he never won the coveted Defensive Player of the Year award during his career. In Pippen’s mind, he didn’t receive the accolade as a Chicago Bull because of his old teammate:
This is actually one of the more subtle jabs the celebrated small forward has aimed at Michael Jordan (who won DPOY in 1988) as of late. As you can imagine, the comment went somewhat viral, with fans chiming in. One other person who spotted the remark was former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who responded to it via Twitter. His response was brief, but it echoes the feelings that some fans and NBA alums have on the matter:
Not too many sports figures have been high on Scottie Pippen’s recent sentiments, including his belief that Michael Jordan “ruined” the game of basketball. Charles Barkley clapped back at the commentssaying that Pippen was just “big-game hunting” in order to sell copies of his memoir (in which many of those thoughts are found). Barkley later added more thoughts and asserted that if Pippen wanted to share his feelings, he should’ve done so in a live setting instead of publishing them in a book. Former Chicago Bull Charles Oakley also questioned how Pippen could call himself as “great” as Jordan considering the differences in their stats.
Others have offered softer responses, though. Charles Barkley’s Inside the NBA co-host, Kenny Smith, chimed in and seemed to express his belief that the two Bulls alums can patch things up. When speaking about the beef, Grant Hill expressed sadness, as he’s friends with both players and appreciated their dynamic on the basketball court.
Given how close Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen seemed to be during their playing days, one can honestly understand why Stan Van Gundy, Grant Hill and more would be discouraged by this recent situation. Jordan and Pippen seemingly haven’t spoken since The last dance released in 2020, and the chances of their friendship surviving this ordeal seem grim to some. We’ll just have to wait and see if the two can find some common ground.
In the meantime, you can check out The Last Dancewhich is streaming on ESPN+ and is also available to those with a Netflix subscription.