Scottie Pippen calls legendary coach racist: ‘It was a racial move’
Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen accused his former coach of being racist after doubling down on an incident that took place during the 1994 playoffs.
“I don’t have a problem with [calling Phil Jackson racist],” Pippen said on Monday’s episode of “The Dan Patrick Show.” “I feel like it was a racial move to give Kukoc (a white player) 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,” Pippen continued.
“By saying a ‘racial move’ then you’re calling Phil Jackson a racist,” Patrick clarified.
“I don’t got a problem with that,” Pippen responded, to which Patrick continued, “do you think Phil was or is a racist?”
“Oh yeah,” Pippen said.
Pippen’s gripe with the 1994 Chicago Bulls playoff team has been long documented, especially throughout last year’s Netflix documentary, ‘The Last Dance’, which focused on Michael Jordan, but sometimes featured Pippen. Pippen has said that the 1994 Bulls team should have been “Scottie Pippen’s team” because he believed he was “on pace” to make MVP that season, and was “next in line” to lead the team after Jordan’s retirement the following year.
Despite being a six-time NBA champion himself, Pippen was largely considered the second-best player on the 1990s Bulls teams.
“Can I get one shot,” Pippen asked, “like, I’m doing all the dirty work. Why would Toni, who was a rookie, get the last-second shot and [Jackson] puts me out of bounds? That’s what I mean racial,” he continued. Patrick attempted to clarify with Pippen, saying the move may not have been racially motivated.
“Well that’s your way of putting it, and I have my way,” Pippen retorted, without backing down, “I was in the locker room with him,” he continued, “you’re looking from afar.”
Following the 1994 season, Jackson went on to coach multiple seasons with legendary player Kobe Bryant, with the pair eventually winning five NBA championships together. Pippen himself is a six-time NBA champion and earned two gold medals with the 1992 and 1996 olympic men’s basketballs teams. He has come under fire recently, especially after the release of ‘The Last Dance’, for criticizing his former teammates and coaches, including Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley in recent weeks.