“The Last Dance” which is an interesting and unique point-of-view, Michael Jordan and his famous Bulls team of the 90’s. All ten episodes have now been released, and it is clear that it is a story with an added bonus for all parties involved. The fans got to bear witness to the greatness of a never-before-seen perspective, and the team gained a renewed appreciation of, interest in, and respect for the fans of their basketball careers.
But these things often have a price, “and” The Last Dance” is no exception to the rule. In spite of the overwhelming love of the truth, but not everyone is happy with the way it turned out.
Scottie Pippen has been strangely silent since the whole thing came out, and reports indicate that it may be because he doesn’t like how he was portrayed.
Michael Jordan confesses his love for Scottie Pippen, would anoint him as the best teammate he’s ever had, and admits that he could not be reached, pro basketball, and the peak without him. But Pippen has been particularly quiet ever since the documentary began its run last month, and those close to him say that he was hurt and disappointed by his portrayal.
Scottie Pippen was ‘beyond furious’ with the way he was portrayed in The Last Dance, a documentary, and it is ‘mad’ for Michael Jordan by @thekapman
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) May 20, 2020
Nothing negative to say, frankly, about Pippen. In fact, he was revered as a stellar team-mate on more than one occasion in the document. But as MacMullan points out, and he took offense to the way in which the different stories were told, including one about his ankle surgery in December 1997.
By his final season in Chicago, Pippen was so bitter about being underpaid, he was the subject of constant trade rumors that he goes out in the off-season surgery on a torn tendon in his ankle, and instead of waiting until the start of the season, 1997-98. It was a decision made by his coach, Phil Jackson, said he understood that. Jordan didn’t do it.
“I thought Scottie was being selfish,” Jordan stated in Episode 2 of the documentary.
It is also told fans about the incident in 1994, when Pippen’s infamous decision to refuse to enter Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference semi-finals.
In this week’s episode of “The Last Dance” (9, p.m. ET on ESPN), the movie offers a scathing examination of Pippen’s infamous decision to refuse to enter Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference semi-finals in the final seconds, as Jackson has signed on to be the last play for Toni Kukoc instead of Pippen. It’s interesting the images that it picks up a scrap of the nearly two-and-a-half-year-old, and has a superb response from Pippen that show that the residual scarring from that incident.
It sounds as if Scottie believes he has been portrayed as being selfish or arrogant when, in reality, he’s just “proud, gentle and soft-spoken, a very complicated rival who are in one way or the other, never seemed to be as a result of (MacMullan).”
Indeed, Pippen was a highly underrated and underappreciated throughout his career, and even in this day and age. He was, in essence, being forced to play the sidekick, when he was one of the best players on the floor, and get very little credit for his contribution, during the Chicago run.
Dennis Rodman is actually of the very same thing in defense of Scottie.
“Scottie was so under-rated, and, therefore, underpaid. He holds his head higher, than Michael Jordan, in the documentary,” Rodman said. “I think a lot of people are now aware of what he was going through. The young man was a hero, and in a lot of ways, that the big Bulls running.”
So, in the end, some feelings were hurt, and it’s easy to see why. Scottie never really got his due, and, although the documentary tried to be, it seems to have failed to Pippen in the way he wanted to.
It’s an unfortunate side-effect of what is otherwise a brilliant documentary.