Scottie Pippen is rightly recognized as one of the best basketball players of all time and has been vocal of late regarding his legacy on the court while making new moves off the hardwood. In a recent interview, the 55-year-old NBA legend essentially framed his former coach in Phil Jackson as a racist.
Pippen was recently featured in GQ in a lengthy profile that covered the Arkansas native’s rise from a standout NAIA college player to being drafted by the Bulls in the 1987 NBA Draft and helped the squad win a total of six championships during his time there with Michael Jordan and Coach Jackson. During the GQ chat, which will highlight below, Pippen called Jackson’s decision to draw up a play for Toni Kukoc instead of himself was a “racial move.”
Going back to those nineties games, you took yourself out of the Knicks 1994 playoff game with 1.8 seconds left. What actually happened? Why’d you refuse to go in the game?
I don’t think it’s a mystery, you need to read between the fine lines. It was my first year playing without Michael Jordan, why wouldn’t I be taking that last shot? I been through all the ups and downs, the battles with the Pistons and now you gonna insult me and tell me to take it out? I thought it was a pretty low blow. I felt like it was an opportunity to give [Kukoc] a rise. It was a racial move to give him a rise. After all I’ve been through with this organization, now you’re gonna tell me to take the ball out and throw it to Toni Kukoc? You’re insulting me. That’s how I felt.
Pippen was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show and the host asked Pippen to clarify his statements from the interview, which the eight-time All-Defensive First Team member did so without an iota of hesitation. That interview, which is worth watching in full, can be viewed below.