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Scottie Pippen’s Comments About Michael Jordan Have Now Drawn A Response From Another NBA Icon

Scottie Pippen made serious waves last fall when he called out his former Chicago Bulls teammate Michael Jordan. The retired athlete, via his memoir, claimed Jordan used ESPN’s The Last Dance to “glorify” himself and asserted that he “ruined” basketball. In the aftermath, fans and NBA veterans alike have weighed in on the matter. Now, the latest to provide a response is one of Pippen and Jordan’s former on-court rivals – Dominique Wilkins. 

Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, the Bulls went head to head with Dominique Wilkins’ Atlanta Hawks on a number of occasions. Their postseason matchups were particularly notable and made for some seriously entertaining basketball. When the Bulls eventually rose to prominence, the Hawks weren’t able to pass them on their journey to a championship. So Wilkins knows first hand just how dominant Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan were, which is why he finds the former’s recent comments “puzzling”:

It’s puzzling, and I don’t understand why. You know, when you win seven championships, all that personal stuff goes out the window. … Anytime you can win the way they won as consistently as they won six championships in seven years, what are you complaining about? I don’t get it. What’s the problem? You all made a lot of money and you all won a lot of championships. At the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s about?

To be clear, the basketball vet misspoke when he mentioned “seven” championships, before later amending the number to six. It should also be pointed out that the Bulls actually won their titles in the span of eight years. Nevertheless, the Atlanta Hawks icon’s sentiments are clear.

The Hall of Famer’s statements, which he shared on FanSided’s Da Windy City podcast (opens in new tab) podcast, come on the heels of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team celebration. The event, which occurred at this year’s All-Star game, saw legends like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Jerry West assemble and reminisce. Scottie Pippen, who was also selected, was notably absent from the proceedings, though. While Pippen did not formally provide a reason for missing the festivities, rumors allege that he did not want to face Jordan

Admittedly, the former player’s blunt comments did come as a surprise, seeing as he and Air Jordan seemed to have a firm relationship. The aspect of that bond that Dominique Wilkins continued to discuss during his recent interview was their harmony on the court. He can’t seem to understand how the Unguarded author could be displeased with the situation he was once in:

Look, you were in a great situation, with the greatest player, and you won… Do you win it without Mike? [There’s] no way, you don’t win without Mike. I don’t care what you think… you played with one of the top three or four players to ever play this game. I just don’t understand the problem.

These statements slightly mirror ones made by former Chicago Bull Charles Oakley, who disagreed when Scottie Pippen claimed he was as “great” as Michael Jordan. Hall of famer Charles Barkley has also responded to the comments and called out Pippen for allegedly “big-game hunting” in order to sell his book. Though the aforementioned players also acknowledged Pippen’s skills, they like Dominique Wilkins and Grant Hill seem perplexed by his shots at Jordan

It feels like this discussion isn’t losing any momentum and, at this rate, it may only be a matter of time before another NBA great enters the chat. The thoughts from veteran players have varied in certain respects. But at the end of the day, many of them would seemingly  just like to see the Bulls’ former dynamic duo back on good terms.

Erik Swann
Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.