More than two decades have passed since the Chicago Bulls won their last NBA championship in 1998. That may be a basketball lifetime, but if Scottie Pippen’s comments on that era and — more specifically — the way it was recounted in The Last Dance proves anything, it’s that time doesn’t heal all wounds.
Although Pippen has caught a level of flak for his comments about the docu-series and former teammate Michael Jordan, Chicago fixture Stacey King — who also played for the ’90s Bulls — has his back.
“I didn’t like the way Scottie was portrayed in certain things,” King said while guesting on the January 6 episode of The Lowe Post podcast.
“In that documentary, a lot of things Scottie did didn’t really pertain to that second three-peat. You know, the 1.8 seconds was when MJ was retired. In my opinion, that really didn’t need to be brought into ‘The Last Dance.’ It had nothing to do with that.”
King was, of course, referring to an incident where Pippen refused to participate during the final 1.8 seconds of a 1994 playoff game when Bulls coach Phil Jackson opted to designate Toni Kukoc for the final shot instead of him in the huddle.
King Sings Scottie’s Praises
The Bulls analyst and former player went on the recount Pippen’s efforts to battle through a migraine during Game 7 of the 1990 Eastern Conference Finals against the Pistons, a contest the Bulls ultimately ended up losing as Pippen missed nine of 10 shots from the field.
As King sees it, that game offers a prime example of Pippen’s grit, the lengths he was willing to go for his team and how those things were overlooked at times.
“I was there when Scottie had the migraine,” King said. “When you have one of the worst migraines, you can’t see, which Scottie couldn’t. He was in so much pain, coming to Detroit for that Game 7. He was in tears, and he tried to play. Couldn’t see and was just so visibly shaken by not being able to play.
“He got such a bad rap for that. His teammates knew what he was going through, knew that he went out there and he wanted to play.”
King continued, taking The Last Dance and/or those responsible for making it to task for doing Pippen dirty.
“To have that in a documentary, bringing that back up? We ended up winning three straight championships after that…” said King. “I thought Scottie was treated harshly there and I understand where he is coming from. Scottie has always felt he doesn’t get the attention he deserves. He’s always been looked at as Robin to Batman.”
Pippen Made Headlines With His Criticism of MJ & ‘The Last Dance’
The whole Scottie-MJ, Last Dance drama exploded onto the hoops blogosphere in November when an excerpt of Pippen’s memoir, Unguarded, was published by GQ. In the piece, the Hall of Famer made it clear that he didn’t appreciate how he and other Bulls players were portrayed in the doc, which was a hit with fans and critics alike.
“Michael was determined to prove to the current generation of fans that he was larger-than-life during his day — and still larger than LeBron James, the player many consider his equal, if not superior. So Michael presented his story, not the story of the “Last Dance,” as our coach, Phil Jackson, billed the 1997–98 season…” Pippen wrote.
“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.”