Scottie Pippen Drops Truth Bombs on Michael Jordan’s First Retirement and Impact on Bulls

Published 11/04/2021, 3:57 AM EDT
Chicago Bulls # 23 Michael Jordan sitting next to Bill Cartwright on the bench during the Chicago Bulls vs New York Knicks game on May 14 , 1993 at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Tom Berg/WireImage)


The Chicago Bulls of the 90s were one of the greatest teams in the world. Led by Michael Jordan, the Bulls won six championships in the process. Scottie Pippen was another Bulls star who played a pivotal role in winning the two three-peats in Chicago. However, despite a great combination on the court, Pippen and Jordan weren’t the closest of friends off the court.

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Pippen has been pretty vocal about his opinions on MJ over the years. However, recently, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the retired duo. Pippen is set to release his memoir ‘Unguarded’ on November 9th, 2021. In his book, he has openly fired shots at Jordan and even blamed him for treating his teammates as secondary.

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Scottie Pippen explained how Michael Jordan retiring early affected the team

Scottie Pippen recently gave an interview to Sopan Deb of NY Times, where he talked about his latest book. In his autobiography, Pippen has mentioned that the Bulls “didn’t win six championships because he (Jordan) got on guys, we won in spite of his getting on guys.” Quoting this, Sopan asked Pippen if Jordan’s treatment of his teammates was unproductive.

To this, Pippen replied: “Well, I can’t say I found it to be unproductive because it was productive.” This question anyway did not make much sence because their production was six titles in eight years.

Sopan then reiterated that the Bulls won despite Jordan getting on the players. Pippen responded by emphasizing that the Bulls didn’t have the full roster and therefore failed to win a title.

“Well, we won when he retired. We didn’t win a title, but obviously, we didn’t have a full roster, so,” Pippen told Soban Deb. Notably, the Bulls, in 1993-94, were still a 55-27 team with no MJ.

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Pippen was the go-to leader for the Bulls after Jordan’s first retirement. Pippen became the All-Star MVP that same year and led the scoring, assists, and blocks charts at the Bulls. He was also second in the NBA in steals per game. Pippen averaged 22.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 5.6 APG, 2.9 SPG, and 0.8 BPG, in that very season.

But in the two seasons without Jordan, the Bulls crashed out of the playoffs in the conference semis. Meanwhile, Jordan came back for the 1995-96 season and powered the Bulls to their second three-peat.

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So, maybe if Jordan had not taken that step in 1993, the Bulls (and Scottie) would’ve had at least one more ring. Do you agree or disagree with this assumption? Help us learn in the comments.

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Abhishek Singh

245 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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