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06-2022

Review: Scottie Pippen Writes Her Last Dance Story

This image released by Atria shows "Unguarded" Scottie Pippen, with Michael Arkush.  (Atria via AP)

This image, released by Atria, shows Scotty Pippen’s film Unprotected, starring Michael Arkush. (Atria via AP)

This image, released by Atria, shows Scotty Pippen’s film Unprotected, starring Michael Arkush. (Atria via AP)

“Unattended” by Scotty Pippen with Michael Arkush (Atria Books)

Scotty Pippen would like you to know that Michael Jordan and the rest of his Chicago Bulls teammates won’t win six NBA titles in the 90s without him. The seven-time All-Star, two-time Olympic champion and newly appointed member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team has waited decades to write a memoir, but is hiding nothing about Unprotected. It turns out, like many superstars, Pippen can indeed hold a grudge.

About Jordan: “I was a much better teammate than Michael has ever been.” About Doug Collins, his first coach in Chicago: “The best coaches are constructively critical. They don’t demean their players. They cherish them … Not Doug. Never Doug. ” And of the late Chicago Bulls CEO Jerry Krause: “He always wanted to get rid of me.”

These types of excavations will be the headlines in this book, but for every harsh comment, Pippen also praises the coaches and teammates who participated in his basketball journey. His overall view is that the media obsession with Michael Jordan – and # 23’s willingness to accept all the praise and accolades – has created a false narrative that ignores how important teamwork is to being successful on the basketball court.

Pippen says he wrote the book because of the attention that the Netflix documentary The Last Dance, which focuses on the final championship of the Bulls in 1997-1998, has received. “It was almost as if Michael felt the need to humiliate me in order to raise himself,” he writes. It touches on all the topics that NBA fans know so well – from the moment he refused to play the last 1.8 seconds of the playoffs in 1994 after coach Phil Jackson made the last shot for teammate Tony Cookok to Jordan. taking a rest from basketball. I will play baseball this year and next.

Fans who have followed his career closely will not find much surprise in these pages. Pippen has always been outspoken, both on and off the court, and the Bulls were not an open-ended franchise during their heyday. It feels like Pippen just wanted to collect all his thoughts in one place so that they become a permanent part of the historical record.

In that sense, the book is largely successful, although it would be nice to have more behind-the-scenes peeks during each championship season. Pippen’s playoff series reviews are more like detailed match results lacking any new ideas or stories that fans don’t know about yet. And in the end, this book will be read by those die-hard Bulls fans who want to relive the glory years of their team.

Because no matter how the story is told or who tells it — in a 10-part documentary or a 274-page memoir — one thing never changes: The Chicago Bulls have won three championships twice in a row and that NBA history is unlikely to change. repeat in the near future.

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