Michael Jordan Never Received Condolences From Scottie Pippen

An enormous tragedy befell Michael Jordan in the summer of 1993. While James Jordan senior slept in his automobile off the side of a North Carolina highway, he was brutally killed. After three weeks, Jordan’s father’s body was found in a creek in South Carolina, where two teens had shot him.

Several of James Jordan’s Chicago Bulls teammates traveled to North Carolina to pay their respects at his funeral. Scottie Pippen, though, could not bring himself to express his sorrow to MJ.

Scottie Pippen Never Offered Condolences to Michael Jordan

The Bulls legend’s new biography Unguarded includes lengthy passages about his friendship (or lack thereof) with Jordan. The New York Post’s Carolina Howe reports that Pippen feels terrible about not expressing his sympathies to His Airness after James Jordan’s death.

According to Pippen’s autobiography, “Michael and I aren’t close and never have been.”

Pippen stated about Michael, “Michael was greater than the game, you know.” in a June interview with GQ. When I first moved to Chicago, he was already an NBA legend. Because of this, we were never able to develop a friendship outside of competition.

Despite their lack of closeness, Pippen still should have expressed his sympathies to Jordan upon hearing about James Jordan’s passing. It’s an expected level of behavior from any colleague.

James Jordan Funeral
James Jordan Funeral

Some of the remarks from Pippen’s autobiography give the impression that he was not happy to play second fiddle to Jordan in the 1990s. The seven-time All-Star is prepared to speak out after ESPN’s The Last Dance docuseries was criticized for elevating Jordan to a “pedestal” and neglecting the contributions of his teammates.

Scottie Pippen: Michael Jordan Got $10 Million for the Last Dance

In his autobiography, Pippen lays into Jordan repeatedly. He feels slighted that the UNC alum treated so many of his teammates poorly and made $10 million for his part in The Last Dance.

Regardless of where Michael ended up, “I’m not arguing he wouldn’t have been a superstar,” Pippen writes. That’s how amazing he was. Simply put, he rode our six championships in eight years to a level of worldwide prominence that no other athlete has achieved in recent times, with the possible exception of Muhammad Ali. Even worse, Michael made $10 million for his part in the documentary, but my teammates and I were paid nothing.

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In the 1990s, Jordan led the Bulls to a perfect 6-0 record in the NBA Finals. Unfortunately, Jordan’s teams were never victorious in the postseason without Pippen. Pip seemed to have wished for more recognition of his position in the dynasty in The Last Dance.

Pippen wasn’t too surprised that The Last Dance would be essentially Jordan propaganda because he knew what drove his old teammate.

Pip: How Naïve I Was to Expect Anything Else

In his autobiography, Pippen writes that knowing Jordan as he did, he wasn’t surprised by the events of The Last Dance. The Arkansas native was appalled by the show’s tendency to place Jordan on a pedestal.

According to Pippen, “Michael was still, in the minds of the adoring press and public, the Errorless Jordan” despite shooting 6 for 24 from the field and making 5 turnovers. I was in my mid-fifties, seventeen years after my last game, and I was witnessing our team being insulted once again. Intimidating enough the first time around to have to endure it.

Pippen is extremely blunt in his assessment of Jordan. After winning six championships together, Bulls fans would have assumed the two icons would remain inseparable forever. Yet, it appears that they were never really close.

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