Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen on Monday accused his former coach Phil Jackson of being a racist.
Pippen, 55, referenced a play in the latter stages of Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals when the Bulls opposed the New York Knicks. Jackson drew up the final shot for then-rookie forward Toni Kukoc, who is white, as opposed to Pippen, who infamously refused to re-enter the game.
“By saying a racial move, then you’re calling Phil a racist,” Patrick said to Pippen.
“I don’t got a problem with that,” Pippen said.
Patrick responded, “Do you think Phil was or is (a racist)?”
“Oh yeah,” Pippen said.
Pippen didn’t let it end there.
“Why would Toni, who was a rookie, get the last-second shot and you put me out of bounds? That’s what I mean racial,” Pippen said.
When Patrick suggested that a design for a last shot may not define Jackson as a racist, Pippen responded: “Well, that’s your way of putting it out, and I have my way. I was in the locker room with him. I was in practices with him. You’re looking from afar.”
Kukoc hit the shot that won the game for Chicago.
Pippen also took issue with Michael Jordan, his longtime Bulls teammate who left the team to play baseball following the 1992-93 season.
“Yeah, it was a big decision, but it was a selfish decision, but it was kind of who Michael Jordan was,” Pippen said. “That was a guy who believed he can do anything on his own.”
Pippen was a seven-time All-Star who won six NBA championships alongside Jordan in Chicago. Jackson was in charge of the Bulls for the entire run.
–Field Level Media