Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan make up one of the greatest tandems in the history of sports. They practically dominated the NBA during the ‘90s, securing six championships for the Chicago Bulls and delivering some exciting games for fans. Due to their on-court heroics, many appeared somewhat surprised and saddened when Pippen released his memoir and began to take shots at Jordan. The small forward hasn’t minced words when discussing his feelings and, more recently, he got honest about whether he’d ever play with Jordan again if he ever got the chance.
The NBA vet’s initial issues with his former teammate stemmed from ESPN’s The Last Dance (streamable with a Netflix subscription). Scottie Pippen felt that the documentary “glorified” Michael Jordan (who reportedly had editorial control) and didn’t give him or the rest of the Bulls players their due. Pippen further believed that Jordan wanted to “prove to the current generation of fans that he was larger-than-life during his day—and still larger than LeBron James.” He went as far as to say that Air Jordan “ruined” basketball with his style of play, which saw him handle the ball for copious amounts of time.
So with all of that in mind, it’s natural to wonder whether the hall of famer would ever team up with his former partner in crime again. Los Angeles’ KTLA 5 posed that very question to him during an interview – and his brief answer might surprise you:
It sounds like Scottie Pippen would be open to another collaboration, if such an opportunity were to present itself. While this may come as a shock to some, the sentiments are totally understandable. Pippen, like many others, cannot dismiss the notion that His Airness is (or was at one time) a force to be reckoned with on the court. And that kind of sheer talent can trump any kind of bad blood between colleagues.
Michael Jordan himself hasn’t publicly commented on any of his old teammate’s recent comments, though. Plenty of other players, however, have thrown in their two cents on the matter. Charles Barkley was quick to clap back, saying that the former Chicago Bull was merely “big-game hunting” in order to sell his book. Barkley’s Inside the NBA co-host, Kenny Smith, also chimed in and, while he remained civil, he did admit that he didn’t see any issues with The Last Dance. Additionally, hall of famer Grant Hill shared honest thoughts, as he expressed sadness over the apparent rift between the duo he relished watching and playing against.
Former Bull Charles Oakley has been particularly vocal about the one-sided beef. When Scottie Pippen stated that he was as “great” as Michael Jordan, Oakley suggested that their stats don’t reflect that idea. On a separate occasion, the former power forward voiced his belief that what’s currently going on between the two stems from something that happened during their playing days.
Those days are definitely over now but, amid the feud, some fans may be happy to hear that Scottie Pippen would still play with MJ. It’s a small compliment, sure, but a compliment nonetheless. And who knows, maybe it could be the spark that finally gets the two beloved athletes back on the same page. We can only hope.