Whether you’re an avid sports fan or not, there’s a great chance that you were one of the millions that tuned in weekly for ESPN’s epic month-long documentary series, The Last Dance.
Highlighting the final season of Michael Jordan’s legendary run with the Chicago Bulls, the Emmy-winning series has been heralded by all those who’ve watched — well, everyone except his self-proclaimed “best teammate of all-time” Scottie Pippen.
Pippen opened up about his frustrations with the doc and Jordan himself in his upcoming memoir, Unguarded. In an excerpt from the book revealed by GQ recently, the NBA champ got very candid about his feelings of being used as a “prop” in what proved to be a show more about MJ than the team’s collective achievements during that iconic 1997-98 season.
Take a look at a standout clip from Unguarded below, via GQ:
“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.
Now here I was, in my midfifties, seventeen years since my final game, watching us being demeaned once again. Living through it the first time was insulting enough.”
Adding to the insult, Pippen even claims that none of the featured teammates made a single dollar from the doc. Meanwhile, Jordan himself made a whopping $10 million as a production partner and not to mention having final creative control.
The excerpt goes into detail on the entire Last Dance ordeal in general, from Pippen sharing a text that Jordan sent after hearing about his initial frustrations to even explaining the years of betrayal he’s felt from the Bulls franchise overall for how we has treated in retirement.
Unguarded, the new memoir by Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen, is out on November 9. Head over to GQ to read the full early excerpt.
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