Scottie Pippen is finally speaking his mind and no longer holding back, and his first order of business is expressing the racism he experienced from former Bulls head coach Phil Jackson, revealing how he felt Phil tried to expose Kobe Bryant.
Scottie Pippen has always kept a low profile and enjoyed life on his terms. He avoided the drama and stayed out the way, even when his wife Larsa Pippen was knee-deep in headlines. Lately, that has all changed and Scottie is going back to let out some pent-up thoughts.
The Chicago Bulls legend has shocked many people by revealing that he believes Phil Jackson is a racist. Many are shocked he would say such a thing, while some remember the harsh words Phil Jackson had to say about LeBron James and his business partners when he was with the Knicks a few years ago. His comments raised a lot of eyebrows and reminded us the transition to a player-focused league over the good ole boys club was bothering people like Phil.
Scottie not only makes the claim that Jackson is racist, but provides examples such as Phil not wanting him to take the game-winning shot on the team he led during his MVP run. Phil instead drew up the game-winning shot for Toni Kukoc, a move that Scottie shook up the world by labeling a racial play.
“I don’t think it’s a mystery, you need to read between the fine lines,” Pippen said during an interview on The Dan Patrick Show.
“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.”
This time, after doubling down on his racial comments, Scottie went further by bringing Kobe Bryant into the fold and speaking on how he feels Phil tried to expose the late legend.
“Do you remember Phil Jackson left the Lakers and then wrote a book on Kobe Byrant and then came back and coached him? I mean, who would do that? You name someone in professional sports that would do that. I think he tried to expose Kobe in a way that he shouldn’t have. You’re the head coach. You’re the guy who sits in the locker room and tells the players ‘this is a circle, and everything stays within the circle, and that’s what team is about.’ But you as the head coach, opening up, and now you go out and try to belittle at that time one of the greatest players in the game?”
You can make your own judgment, but for Scotti–who has that much history with Phil–to make this statement years laters means it’s been bothering him for decades. He still has pain from it and finally voicing it seems like a weight off his shoulders.
You can watch the full clip of his comments below.