Scottie Pippen just called Phil Jackson a racist.
On the Dan Patrick show, the six-time NBA champion called out Jackson in a conversation centered around Jackson’s decision to give the last shot of a crucial playoff game to Toni Kukoč instead of Pippen back in 1994.
No one truly knows if Jackson is racist, but, over the course of Jackson’s career, some incidents have led to whispers about racism on the part of the Hall of Fame coach.
Jackson was extremely critical of Kobe Bryant in books that he’s published, saying that Bryant was “uncoachable.” He also called LeBron James’ business partners who are Black, and include manager Maverick Carter and agent Rich Paul, among others, as a “posse” in an ESPN interview and had his beef with Carmelo Anthony over who was to blame for the Knicks’ downfall while Jackson was in charge as president of the New York Knicks.
“I don’t think it’s a mystery, you need to read between the fine lines. It was my first year playing without Michael Jordan, why wouldn’t I be taking that last shot, ” said Pippen. “I been through all the ups and downs, the battles with the Pistons and now you gonna insult me and tell me to take it out? I thought it was a pretty low blow. I felt like it was an opportunity to give [Kukoč] 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 Kukoč? You’re insulting me. That’s how I felt.”
FYI: Kukoč, with 1.8 seconds on the clock, hit the game-winner with Pippen refusing to take the court.
Jackson could be racist or Pippen could be talking recklessly or it could be both, honestly. I have no idea. But Pippen has been in the public eye recently for some of his comments on current players, like Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons. Pippen infamously said that Durant hasn’t surpassed LeBron yet as the best player in the world and then said that Ben Simmons was too “afraid of being humiliated” on the court because of his shooting.
Durant fired back at Pippen on Twitter for being in his feelings about Jackson calling a play for a better shooter.
Pippen took to Twitter earlier today to double down on his criticisms of both Jackson and Michael Jordan on the Dan Patrick Show. Pippen called some of Jordan’s decisions “selfish.”
That man Pippen is speaking his mind freely and clearly doesn’t care.
It’ll be interesting to see what else comes from Pippen in these next few months.