Scottie Pippen let some of the air out of former teammate Michael Jordan’s legacy during a podcast on Friday, further straining the tension between the two basketball Hall of Famers.
Pippen, 57, who teamed with Jordan to win six NBA championships during the 1990s, called Jordan a “horrible player” during the “Gimme the Hot Sauce” podcast. The comments were aired on the podcast hosted by Stacey King, a teammate of both players for five seasons in Chicago beginning in 1989, Sports Illustrated reported.
Pippen made the comments about Jordan, 60, while discussing candidates for the greatest player in NBA history, USA Today reported. He told King that current Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James will be the “greatest statistical guy to ever play the game of basketball” when he retires.
Pippen couched his comments by noting that he does not believe that the NBA has a single player who is the game’s greatest because it is a team game, and “one player can’t do it,” according to Sports Illustrated. Then he directed some verbal slam-dunks at Jordan, known as “His Airness” and “Superman” during his playing days. Many basketball experts still consider Jordan the game’s greatest player.
“I’ve seen Michael Jordan play before I came to play with the Bulls. You guys seen him play. He was a horrible player,” Pippen said. “He was horrible to play with. He was all one-on-one, he’s shooting bad shots, and all of a sudden, we become a team and we start winning.
“Everybody forgot who he was.”
Pippen added that Jordan’s scoring priority “wasn’t in the documentary,” referring to the 2020 “Last Dance” documentary that aired on ESPN in 2020, USA Today reported.
According to Basketball-Reference.com, Jordan averaged 31.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game in the three seasons before the Bulls selected Pippen as the fifth overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft. During the 1986-87 season, Jordan averaged a career-high 37.1 points per game.
While the Bulls made the playoffs during those seasons, they did not advance past the first round, USA Today reported.
The Bulls won six titles between 1991 and 1998.
Pippen appeared to double down on his initial comments in an Instagram post on Saturday.
“From humble beginnings to 6 championships, 2 gold medals, Hall of Fame, and leading the Bulls franchise with the most playoff wins. Here’s to the unsung heroes … Cheers!” Pippen wrote in his caption.
Pippen’s relationship with Jordan soured after “The Last Dance,” which chronicled the Bulls’ sixth and final championship with Jordan and Pippen. According to USA Today, Pippen did not like the way he was portrayed in the documentary, adding that Jordan “couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried.”
CNN reached out to Jordan’s representatives and the Charlotte Hornets, the team that he owns, for comment.