It is safe to say that The Last Dance is the most celebrated sports documentary of recent years. Not only does the 10-part series look into Michael Jordan and the game of basketball, but the way he and the Chicago Bulls franchise influenced and shaped ’90s American culture. But Jordan couldn’t simply do this on his own, in fact there was a long line of players who helped the man to victory several times over.
Scottie Pippen, the wing man and number two player was regularly in the spotlight during The Last Dance. He was spotlighted for his talent, his unfair and extremely low salary as well as turning down surgery on his ankle before the 1997-1998 season. He also infamously refused to re-enter the 1994 semi finals game after coach Phil Jackson drew up a play featuring rookie Toni Kukoc. Within the limited series, Pippen has defended each and every decision he has made but in a new interview with ESPN, he has revealed he wasn’t happy with how he was portrayed. And Dennis Rodman has sided with the player.
“Scottie was so underrated – and so underpaid. He should be holding his head up higher than Michael Jordan in this documentary,” Rodman says. “I think a lot of people are now realising what he went through. The kid was a hero, in a lot of ways, during those great Bulls runs.”
ESPN Senior Writer Jackie MacMullan says people close to Pippen have revealed he is “wounded and disappointed” by his portrayal. And whilst Michael Jordan previously warned fans they many not like him following the docuseries release, I don’t think he banked on Pippen being one of them. Despite the first-hand accounts and interviews, any documentary won’t please everyone. After all, it is television though we suspect Scottie Pippen has drawn the short straw for some time.