Rumor: Scottie Pippen upset with Michael Jordan due to documentary

Leave a comment

Horace Grant and Craig Hodges have issues with how Michael Jordan – who held control over “The Last Dance” – handled the documentary.

Apparently, so does Scottie Pippen.

David Kaplan of ESPN 1000:

What I was told yesterday, he is so angry at Michael – and how he was portrayed, called selfish, called this, called that – that he’s furious that he participated and did not realize what he was getting himself into. Very upset.

He felt that – up until the last few minutes of Game 6 against the Jazz – it was just bash Scottie, bash Scottie, bash Scottie. As one of his friends said to me yesterday, he’s one of the top 21 players, according to ESPN, in the history of the sport. He said, and prior to the last seven minutes of the documentary on Sunday night in episode 10, all it was was the migraines, the surgery, Michael calling him selfish, his contract. He said every single thing you showed about him, basically, was negative. And he is beyond livid.

Multiple teammates of his – multiple – have all felt Scottie got a raw deal in the documentary, and they’re furious.

Nothing in the documentary made Pippen look worse than Pippen himself. He made the indefensible statement that he stands by his refusal to enter with 1.8 seconds left in Game 3 of Bulls-Knicks in 1994. That’s on him.

Otherwise…

Jordan mixed praise and criticism of Pippen throughout “The Last Dance.” Jordan said, “Whenever they speak Michael Jordan, they should speak Scottie Pippen. … Everybody says I won all these championships. But I didn’t win without Scottie Pippen.” Jordan also called Pippen wrong for delaying surgery in 1997, Pippen opting be laid up during the season rather than the summer.

But Pippen did frequently complain about his contract. He did demand a trade multiple times. These are important points to cover in Chicago’s story.

So was the migraine game.

Pippen struggled in the Bulls’ loss to the Pistons in Game 7 of the 1990 Eastern Conference finals due to a migraine. Jordan’s response in the documentary raised a few eyebrows:

To anyone who didn’t know the full story, that was probably a forgettable scene. But there was something to Jordan’s wording, his tone, his facial expression. It brought back a time when doubt persisted about whether Pippen actually had a migraine.

Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post in 1991:

The migraine in Game 7, for those of us who thought Pippen was too soft anyway, was confirmation that his psyche was fragile. A Chicago columnist suggested the Bulls should check the “Missing Pippens Bureau.” Fans in NBA arenas would scream, “Scottie, got a headache?” The Pistons, among others, would snicker within his earshot or jostle him needlessly. “Dennis Rodman still does it in games,” Jordan said Sunday.

So many people believe that if Pippen did have a migraine it was brought on by a fear of the Pistons in general, defensive ace Dennis Rodman specifically.

Scott Howard-Cooper of the Los Angeles Times in 1991:

But there probably always will be a little migraine in the Bulls’ lore; after a sub-par 22-point showing in Game 1 of the recent Eastern finals against Detroit, Bull guard Michael Jordan quipped, “I may have had a headache today.”

Pippen said he hasn’t had a headache since last year’s Piston finale, although he couldn’t tell you why. The only change he has made is that he wears glasses off the court, but the Bulls say his vision was only slightly off and not enough to cause a migraine. More than likely, they say, it was a combination of the slight vision problem and the stress of his father’s death.

Reports like that might at least partially explain why Pippen is sensitive about his portrayal in the media.

Maybe “The Last Dance” could have spent more time on Pippen’s positive on-court contributions. But this was a documentary about Jordan first and foremost. He’s the draw. Pippen’s play was also steady and understated, difficult to accentuate in this format. His surrounding nonsense – and there was plenty, more than “The Last Dance” got into – was far more vivid.

Yet, I thought “The Last Dance” still presented him mostly favorably overall – deservedly so.

Michael Porter Jr.: Pray for both George Floyd’s family and police officers involved in ‘this evil’

Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. and Knicks forward Maurice Harkless
Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Several NBA players posted about George Floyd, a black man who died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer for about eight minutes.

Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. struck a different tone than most.

Porter:

Knicks forward Maurice Harkless:

Harkless, whose dismay was shared by many, is a seasoned veteran. Porter has made made rookie gaffes.

But I’m uncomfortable criticizing someone for calling for prayer for anyone. For some, prayer can be effective way to cope amid tragedy. Many believe prayer can change the world.

Porter didn’t say prayer alone should be the solution. In fact, he called the situation “evil” and “murder,” seemingly suggesting the need for criminal justice, too.

Basketball Hall of Fame delays enshrining Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Spurs forward Tim Duncan
Harry How/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Basketball Hall of Fame originally planned to induct Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett in August.

But coronavirus interfered.

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of the governors for the Hall, told ESPN Wednesday that enshrinement ceremonies for the Class of 2020, one of the most star-studded lineups ever which includes Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and the late Kobe Bryant, will be moved to spring of 2021.

Colangelo stressed there will be separate ceremonies for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021, even though both events will now be held in the calendar year 2021. “We won’t be combining them,” he said. “The Class of 2020 is a very special class and deserves its own celebration.”

I’m so glad each class will be honored separately. Bryant, Duncan, Garnett and the rest of this class – Tamika Catchings, Rudy Tomjanovich, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton and Patrick Baumann – deserve their own night.

So does Paul Pierce and whoever gets selected in the next class.

Life can end at any moment. Bryant’s death was a tragic reminder of that. But there’s no specific urgency here. The Hall of Fame should wait until it’s safe to hold a proper celebration of this class… then the next one.

NBA being sued for missed rent payments amid coronavirus shutdown

NBA Store
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NBA has been sued by the owners of the building that houses the NBA Store, who say the league owes more than $1.2 million after not paying rent in April or May.

The league responded by saying it doesn’t believe the suit has merit, because it was forced to close the New York store due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NBA Media Ventures, LLC is required to pay $625,000 of its $7.5 million annual fee on the first day of each month under teams of its lease with 535-545 FEE LLC, according to the suit filed Tuesday in New York.

The NBA entered into the lease agreement for the property at 545 Fifth Ave. in November 2014.

Counting other fees such as water, the owners of the building are seeking more than $1.25 million.

“Like other retail stores on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the NBA Store was required to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Under those circumstances, we don’t believe these claims have any merit,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said. “We have attempted, and will continue to attempt, to work directly with our landlord to resolve this matter in a manner that is fair to all parties.”

The NBA suspended play on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic and faces hundreds of millions of dollars in losses this season, even as it works toward trying to resume play in July.

NBA latest timeline has games starting in late July, early August in Orlando

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Anyone hoping for a rapid return of the NBA is going to be disappointed (and hasn’t been paying attention to how Adam Silver operates).

The NBA continues to carefully move toward a return to games, likely with 16 or more likely 20 teams in Orlando at the Walt Disney World resort complex. Expect players to report in mid-July with games now looking like they start late July to early August, allowing more time for the league to get medical and testing protocols and equipment in place. This according to multiple reports, including Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reiterated that timeline. While Adam Silver and the NBA owners will be on a conference call Friday, no hard-and-fast timeline decisions are expected at that point.

The format for the NBA’s return also is not yet set, but momentum has shifted in the past couple of weeks away from bringing all 30 teams into the Orlando bubble/campus to finish some portion of the regular season. That would be too many people and too much risk for too little reward.

Instead, the restart likely will have either 16 teams — going straight into the playoffs — or 20 teams, with a play-in tournament of some kind (maybe a World Cup soccer-style group phase). And, as Marc Stein of the New York Times notes (and he is not alone), there is a push to have the clumped 9-12 seeds in the West — Portland, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Sacramento — be the four additional teams brought in (along with the 16 playoff teams).

Teams who last in the playoffs past the first round could be in Orlando for months, which is why the NBA will allow family members to come to Orlando for the later rounds, report Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne at ESPN.

Conversations have centered on the timing of family arrivals at the Walt Disney Resort, which are likely to start once an initial wave of teams are eliminated and the number of people within the league’s bubble decreases, sources said.

Family members would be subjected to the same safety and testing protocols as everyone else living in the NBA’s biosphere, sources said.

Considering how long players on contending teams could be in Orlando — from mid-July until mid-to-late September, and maybe longer — allowing family to join them is the right thing to do.

NBA Commissioner Silver is trying to make a return as safe as he can and build as much consensus as he can, although he will not get anything absolute in either case. It’s in his nature to move cautiously, especially through uncharted waters like these. The NBA will have games again this summer, but earlier timelines have proved to be a bit optimistic.