Scottie Pippen has never been one to tip well, or hold his tongue. The former Chicago Bulls forward, Olympic Dream Teamer, and basketball Hall of Famer has a new book coming out about his days with the Bulls, and based on what Pippen is saying publicly prior to the book’s release it promises to be controversial. The book, titled “Unguarded”, is going to give fans a look behind the curtain from Pippen’s playing career and Pippen is making the rounds promoting the book, including an interview with GQ.
In that GQ interview Pippen calls Phil Jackson drawing up the last play against the Knicks in Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals a “a racial move” and that it was designed to help build the hype around the white Kukoc.
“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?….Go back and look at it and you can see it. It was my team. Why are you telling me to take the ball out on a game-tying shot. It wasn’t even a game-winning shot.”
Pippen refused to go into the game after Jackson had him as the inbounds man on the play. Instead, Pete Myers made the in-bounds pass and Kukoc drained the game-winner:
Aside from Pippen being wrong about the shot not being a game-winner (it was); was Phil Jackson thinking about or worried about the racial implications of giving Kukoc the final shot against the Knicks instead of Pippen? That’s a tough sell, especially considering that Jackson had used a similar play to Kukoc earlier in the season to beat the Pacers where Pippen was the in-bounds guy on that play…
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