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The Last Dance struck a chord with sports fans who were aiming to get a bit more insight into the Chicago Bulls sixth championship run during the 1997-1998 NBA season. The docuseries earned critical acclaim from viewers and critics, but it seemed to draw mixed reactions from former players. Bulls legend Scottie Pippen was said to be “livid” about how he was depicted but, now, he’s setting the record straight.
It looks like Scottie Pippen actually didn’t have any problem with The Last Dance, despite early reports claiming the opposite. Pippen doesn’t see the need to be offended by events of the past and just appears to be pleased that younger fans were able to get a taste of ‘90s basketball:
Why would I be offended by anything that happened 30 years ago? I wasn’t upset about it. It didn’t bother me at all. It was an opportunity for our younger generation that hadn’t seen or knew anything about basketball in the ’90s.
It’s interesting to hear Scottie Pippen tell the Associated Press that he was not upset with The Last Dance, though his outlook on the situation does make sense. He and his former teammates are decades removed from the events of the show and any old wounds that may have lingered initially have likely dissipated.
While The Last Dance was airing, many fans and sports analysts had varying thoughts on Scottie Pippen’s depiction. Some viewed his story in a somewhat unfortunate light, as remained underpaid and tied to a lengthy contract during his tenure with the Bulls.
Others believed the series painted Pippen in a more unflattering light. During the second episode, Michael Jordan referred to Pippen as being “selfish” for purposely putting off his foot surgery to enjoy the summer of 1997. This would ultimately cause him to miss the first part of the 1997-1998 season. This all occurred in the midst of a contract dispute between Pippen and the Bulls’ front office.
Pippen hasn’t been too vocal regarding the specific critiques of his character, but the same definitely can’t be said of former teammate Horace Grant. In The Last Dance, Michael Jordan accused Grant of leaking locker room secrets to journalist friend Sam Smith, who would go on to write The Jordan Rules. Grant vehemently denied the claim and has since called on Jordan to discuss his feelings one on one.
On the flip side of this, some of Jordan’s other teammates don’t seem to have a problem with the way they were depicted. Steve Kerr did, however, express some regret with the attire he chose for his interview.
When it comes to Scottie Pippen’s role in The Last Dance, spectators will likely continue to debate his depiction, but it still good to hear that he personally views the docuseries in a more positive light.
The Last Dance is currently available to stream in its entirety on Netflix.