It has been quite a media tour for 6-time NBA Champion Scottie Pippen. Pippen has been promoting his explosive new book Unguarded and has used his book tour to exercise some of the demons he has been holding on to since officially retiring from the NBA in 2008.
Pippen has played for several teams throughout his Hall of Fame basketball career, but he is most famous for his time with the Chicago Bulls. During his time with the Bulls, Pippen and Hall of Famer, Michael Jordan won six NBA titles together. While Pippen enjoyed much success in Chicago he also had his share of drama with the Bulls.
Scottie Pippen Accuses Phil Jackson of Being Racist
Pippen’s lowest moment with the Bulls came during Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Knicks. With a chance to win the game Pippen refused to check-in for the final 1.8 seconds of the contest after Bulls head coach Phil Jackson drew up a play for Bulls forward Toni Kukoc instead of him. During a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show Pippen says that he feels the decision made by Jackson to run the play for Kukoc instead of him was racially motivated.
Jackson Made Insensitive Comments About LeBron in 2016
Jackson was also under fire for some explosive comments he made during his time as the president of the New York Knicks. His target was Lakers’ star LeBron James and his business associates Rich Paul and Maverick Carter. When discussing James’ departure from the Miami Heat in 2014 he used the word ‘Posse’ to describe James’ business associates which LeBron and Carter publicly took exception to.
“It’s the word ‘posse’ and the characterization I take offense to,” Carter said to ESPN in 2016. “If he would have said LeBron and his agent, LeBron and his business partners or LeBron and his friends, that’s one thing. Yet because you’re young and black, he can use that word. We’re grown, men.”
Through his media production company, Springhill Entertainment and his sports agency Klutch Sports LeBron has been able to put his childhood friends in charge of some extraordinarily successful business ventures. It is something that he has prided himself on throughout his career. For James, the term posse seems like more than just a word given what he, Carter, and Paul have been able to accomplish together.
“I’ve been in the league for 14 years and from the beginning two years in, I felt like I wanted to put my guys in positions of power, give those guys an opportunity to better themselves. You know, in the beginning, we were highly criticized, and I was highly criticized about what I wanted to do to help some guys around me become very successful in business,” James said in 2016 per ESPN.
“It just sucks that now at this point having one of the biggest businesses you can have both on and off the floor, having a certified agent in Rich Paul, having a certified business partner in Maverick Carter that’s done so many great business [deals], that the title for young African-Americans is the word ‘posse.'”
Whether Jackson’s comments and actions in the situations of Pippen, LeBron, Paul, and Carter were racially motivated is something that only he will be able to answer. After such a strong accusation against Jackson from one of his former players, it will be interesting to see how he responds, if at all.