Back in 1994, Scottie Pippen was forced to play without Michael Jordan for the very first time. Pippen was thrust into the superstar role for the Bulls and for the most part, they had a decent season. While they were eventually eliminated by the New York Knicks, there is no denying that Pippen had a formidable campaign without Jordan. However, his playoff run was sullied after a bizarre moment in the dying moments of a game in the Knicks series. Head coach Phil Jackson drew up a play that had Toni Kukoc taking the final shot. Kukoc went on to score the bucket although Pippen was so mad that he wouldn’t even play the dying seconds.
Now, in a new interview with GQ, Pippen is speaking out about the moment and he is still upset about it all. In fact, the NBA legend accused Jackson of drawing up a play that was racially motivated. Simply put, Pippen believes Jackson wanted a white European to get the glory.
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“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?” Pippen said. “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.”
This is certainly quite the accusation to make and throughout the interview, Pippen continued to voice his displeasure over the situation. The entire ordeal was documented in “The Last Dance” although Pippen feels like his side wasn’t properly heard. With this new interview, he has made a massive statement.
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