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The Last Dance provided viewers with an unprecedented look into NBA legend Michael Jordan's career and the Chicago Bulls dynasty. As far as Jordan's teammates were concerned, however, the response has been mixed. Not long after former teammate Horace Grant spoke out about his portrayal in the docuseries, there have been reports that Scottie Pippen is "livid" about how he was portrayed.
Scottie Pippen, who was noted in The Last Dance to be a strong contender for the second best player in the league at the time he and Jordan played, apparently didn't feel that love watching the ESPN docuseries. The news was reported by ESPN Radio's Chicago show Kap And Company, in which host David Kaplan reported on the former superstar's thoughts on how he was portrayed:
[Pippen] felt like up until the last few minutes of Game 6 against the Jazz [in the 1998 NBA Finals], it was just ’bash Scottie, bash Scottie, bash Scottie.’
The Last Dance, while primarily about Michael Jordan, did take some time to touch on the careers of other members of the Chicago Bulls dynasty. For Scottie Pippen, the docuseries ran an emotional bit about his early years and transition to basketball, but also a contract with the Bulls that drastically underpaid the player for years despite his all-star abilities. The low-ball contract led Pippen to hold out on ankle surgery until the start of the 1997-1998 NBA season in order to leverage a better contract, or encourage a trade at the season's end.
It was a move Michael Jordan called "selfish," which would understandably upset Scottie Pippen. Jordan was certainly making much more in comparison and, to this day, has a lot more to show for it financially than Pippen despite both being 6-time NBA champions. Pippen's contribution is one of the key parts of Jordan's legacy, so it's understandable Pippen would take offense to being presented as a problem.
Unfortunately, through most of The Last Dance, Michael Jordan was seen as the man carrying the Bulls the entire way. Scottie Pippen did get a key mention in Game 6 in the 1998 NBA Finals, but also was criticized by Jordan for his performance in Game 7 of the 1990 Eastern Conference Finals. As of writing, Pippen has not personally confirmed he was upset by the documentary, but probably could get some television time to weigh in following the success of this docuseries. Perhaps the world will see what he has to say in the days that come, and hear straight from the source on what he thought The Last Dance got wrong.
The Last Dance will have an encore presentation on ABC starting Saturday, May 23. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the hottest docuseries out there, and for the latest news in television and movies.