Scottie Pippen’s recent comments on Michael Jordan appear to have taken the sports world by storm. Since early November, fans have heard Pippen air brutally honest thoughts that seem to suggest that he and his old teammate didn’t have as close a relationship as many assumed. This had led to some significant debate regarding the merits of his sentiments, with both fans and former players weighing in on the situation. Now, Grant Hill has become the latest NBA alum to speak out on the apparent rift between the revered duo. 

Grant Hill entered the league in 1994 and, as a result, he would have more than a few opportunities to square off with the Chicago Bulls’ two star players. As a member of the Detroit Pistons, Hill had some fierce Eastern Conference showdowns with the two. He still, however, became a fan of theirs and appreciated what they accomplished on the court. So like many, he’s disappointed to see what’s transpiring between the two:

It’s sad in a lot of ways. You know, we all watched The Last Dance, Michael, the greatness of those teams, and Scottie, his contributions and his role and just the greatness that they embodied and just how together they were and how they dominated. It was tough for me because I’m playing against them and all of us in the NBA. But I’m friends with both, I’m fans [of] both. And you just hate to see that legacy now tainted by this sort of back-and-forth. And so, look, Scottie has every right to tell his truth and share his struggles and frustrations. I wish it didn’t come to that. It’s unfortunate, but you can’t discredit what they did together. It was incredible, one of the best duos in the history of not just the NBA but the history of sport.

The Last Dance, the Emmy-winning docuseries that aired on ESPN last year, seemed to be the catalyst for Scottie Pippen’s apparent frustration. He initially seemed to be fine with the show but, in his memoir Unguarded, he was “upset” with it and said that it “glorified” Michael Jordan while not giving credit to the rest of the team. Pippen attributed this to the fact that Jordan’s production company was involved in the creative process. He also says he spoke to his other teammates about it and claims that they felt “disrespected” as well. In addition, the former all star stated that Jordan “ruined basketball.” 

Despite the acclaim it’s received, the 10-part series has been a somewhat polarizing topic in some circles. The show, which premiered during the early months of lockdown last year, gained favorable viewership numbers, and avid watchers didn’t hesitate to share thoughts across social media each week. During his recent appearance on The Real, Grant Hill admitted that he he’d yet to read the controversial book, though he has seen the doc — and was asked to share his view on it:

I mean, I didn’t think it was unfair. I thought it was… They touched on some things that happened. Scottie didn’t go in the game in that one game, and that was a controversial moment. Michael talked about the gambling and some of the clouds that hovered around him. So I thought it was pretty open and pretty transparent.

Former Chicago Bulls players have been among those to chime in on Scottie Pippen’s recent comments as well as The Last Dance. After Pippen spoke out, Scott Williams called Michael Jordan the better teammate while also mentioning that between the two, Jordan is more likely to respond to a text. Charles Oakely, who was mostly fine with the ESPN production, was diplomatic in acknowledging his colleague’s displeasure. However, Oakley also seems to think that PIppen’s issues with Jordan actually stem from something that occurred during their playing days as opposed to the TV project.

Elsewhere, former Houston Rocket and current Inside the NBA analyst Kenny Smith conveyed his belief that both Bulls players are still bonded for life. He also thinks that the show didn’t show anything that was factually inaccurate. His on-air co-star, Charles Barkley also had no problem with the program. He was a bit more blunt when it came to the comments from the memoir, though. Barkley said he believed his fellow Dream Team alum was merely “big-game hunting” in an attempt to sell books. The Round Mound of Rebound then questioned why the former small forward would choose to air his views in a book instead of a live and/or public setting. 

It’s been interesting to hear Grant Hill and so many other vets contribute to the discussion. As time goes on, I simply become more curious as to who else might join the conversation. And of course, like so many others, I also wonder if Scottie Pippen will make peace with his basketball brother in arms. 

Those who haven’t checked out The Last Dance and want to see what all the fuss is about can do so by streaming it on Netflix or ESPN+.

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