‘All Kings are Selfish’: Former Chicago Bulls Teammate Defends Michael Jordan after Scottie Pippen’s Allegations

Published 07/11/2021, 7:00 AM EDT
Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan attend the surprise birthday celebration for Scottie Pippen at Sunda on September 24, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/WireImage)


Scottie Pippen has created a stir in the NBA with his unequivocal stance against Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan. The retired Bulls star called out the legendary coach for alleged racially motivated decisions and then tagged MJ as selfish. Those were sentences enough to bring a lot of criticism/hype to his name ahead of his book launch.

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Now, the outsiders can make judgments on Scottie’s claims all that they want. However, it is only the inders, who have shared space along with the three, that can give a clearer picture. So a former Chicago teammate decided to give his opinion on the whole issue.

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John Salley stands with Michael Jordan and his dexterity

During the late 80s and early 90s, Detroit’s greatest rival was Michael Jordan and MJ’s hottest target were the Pistons. In those days, John Salley was the Pistons center and he spent years with his rivalry against Jordan. Later, the Spider joined the Bulls and played a cameo role in the 1996 season. 

However, even in that half-year stint, the 4x NBA Champion closely saw the trio of MJ, Scottie, and Phil. So he had his opinion when Pippen called MJ selfish for allowing Steve Kerr to take the Game 6 winning shot in 1997 because there was a documentary in-the-making. 

The 57-YO very seriously and confidently stated, “Why wouldn’t he be? He’s the messiah, he’s the GOAT, he’s the king, all kings are selfish. That’s what you do in order to build your kingdom. I don’t think he is selfish, he’s an alpha player playing in the team game and was really good at it. Saying he’s selfish that he went to take care of his own life…”

Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)
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How were the Bulls without MJ on the roster?

On the business side of it, the Bulls became the most recognizable franchise in the 90s solely because of the rise of Michael Jordan. And as far as the game is concerned, it was MJ who dragged the Bulls back into the playoff game and played three consecutive postseasons before they drafted Scottie Pippen.

In MJ’s absence after their first three-peat, the Bulls, under Scottie’s leadership, failed to reach the ECF in 1994. So even as Scottie was a great athlete, he was still a Robin and never really a Batman.

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Just as John Salley mentioned how people desperately waited to watch MJ and added, “If they would have lost, it was on him [MJ]. If you lose you get it all, if you win, you should get it all. 80% of the reason they were in that position, it was Michael. James Worthy and I couldn’t believe this skinny Michael has become the messiah… He and David Stern changed the image of the NBA in 1984.”

Now that you know the perspective of a rival-turned-insider of the Bulls, do you think MJ was deservingly selfish? Help us and Scottie learn your interesting opinion in the comments.

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Watch this story – Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Other Teammates Michael Jordan Was Lucky to Have

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Sourabh Singh

1396 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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