Scottie Pippen was not among the millions of people praising The Last Dance when it came out. As far back as last year, reports surfaced that the Chicago Bulls legend had a problem with the way he was portrayed in the documentary and how the team was often depicted as successful only because Michael Jordan was there.
Now, the public can finally get the story from Scottie Pippen himself. GQ published an excerpt of his upcoming memoir on Tuesday. The book is called Unguarded. In it, Scottie lets loose on Michael, ESPN, and the producers of The Last Dance.
“They glorified Michael Jordan while not giving nearly enough praise to me and my proud teammates,” he writes.
It is well-known that Michael Jordan had editorial control of the documentary. Plenty, including documentarian Ken Burns, have raised objections to that, saying that it turned The Last Dance into a propaganda piece and not truly a documentary. It is a sentiment that Pippen echoes in his book.
“Michael was determined to prove to the current generation of fans that he was larger-than-life during his day—and still larger than LeBron James, the player many consider his equal, if not superior. I was nothing more than a prop. His ‘best teammate of all time,’ he called me. He couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried.”
Scottie Pippen paints a depressing picture of being Jordan’s teammate. He said the documentary brought back memories of the Bulls’ success being “Michael on a pedestal, his teammates secondary, smaller”.
Pippen does write that Michael Jordan reached out to him when he received word that he was unhappy. He says that John Paxton reached out too to make sure Pippen knew that he was respected by the organization and his teammates. They were calls that felt less than sincere to Pippen.
“Both were aware of how angry I was about the doc. They were checking in to make sure I wouldn’t cause any trouble: to the Bulls, who still paid Paxson as an adviser; or to Michael’s legacy, always a major concern.”
Unguarded is out next week.
SiriusXM Presenting Broadcast Coverage of 2023 Ryder Cup
“Our listeners will get comprehensive access to the tournament…”
SiriusXM will be the radio home of the Ryder Cup, delivering consumers more than 28 hours of live coverage from the bi-annual international golf competition from Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia just outside of Rome, Italy. The tournament will showcase various teams of skilled golfers from the United States and Europe that will face off with one another in match play, including head-to-head singles matches and four-ball matches over the three days.
Coverage begins on Friday, Sept. 29 at 1 a.m. EST/10 p.m. PST (Thursday, Sept. 28) and will continue through the final hole of play. The same structure will take place the next day and feature commentators Mark Carnevale, Brian Katrek, Colt Knost, John Maginnes, Drew Stoltz and Taylor Zarzour. The official Ryder Cup Radio channel, which is produced in partnership with IMG and Ryder Cup Europe, will include a score of additional voices such as Alberto Binaghi, Raymond Burns and Sophie Walker. All of the broadcasts will be available to consume on SiriusXM channel No. 92 and on the SiriusXM app.
“The Ryder Cup is one of the most exciting events in all of sports,” Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer of SiriusXM, said in a statement. “Our listeners will get comprehensive access to the tournament, with live coverage of every match and a level of insight and analysis leading up to and throughout the event that you’ll only get from SiriusXM.”
As the competition approaches, listeners can tune into SiriusXM for golf programming previewing the festivities. Moreover, listeners can tune in for a special, Backstory: Ryder Cup, hosted by David Marr III that examines Europe’s success in the competitions played on their own continent. Marr III will decipher the phenomenon through the lens of the 1993 Ryder Cup in England, the last time the competition was won by the United States overseas, led by Jim Gallagher’s win over Seve Ballesteros.
Two special collaborative podcast episodes hosted by former American tour pro Smylie Kaufman and European Tour pro Andrew “Beef” Johnston will debut on Tuesday, Sept. 26 and Wednesday, Sept. 27. Both golfers currently host their own podcasts – The Smylie Show and Beef’s Golf Club, respectively – and will blend the American and European perspectives on the tournament. Kaufman will record episodes of her show each night in Italy reacting to the day’s events and looking ahead for what is to come.
Darren McKee: ‘I Have No Plans to Go Anywhere’
“We’re off to the next adventure.”
Bonneville Denver and Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan recently released a new on-air lineup featuring a revamped afternoon drive program and the addition of Josh Dover in middays alongside Brandon Stokley. These changes were precipitated by the changing marketplace in addition to Derek Wolfe’s exit from the station “to focus on other interests.” Wolfe had been working with Darren McKee, who was subsequently let go in a decision that perturbed many longtime listeners of the station.
The Syracuse University graduate had been working with the station since 2008 and was one of four radio personalities to be let go as part of the move. Joining McKee as victims of the changes were former Denver Broncos offensive lineman Orlando Franklin, former Broncos tight end Nate Jackson and former NFL linebacker Chad Brown.
McKee recently appeared on the DeHuff Uncensored podcast, hosted by former Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan producer Scott DeHuff, who departed the station in 2021 to pursue other opportunities. DeHuff was an integral part of shaping the morning show, Schlereth & Evans, and affirmed that his exit was not planned but something he felt had to happen. Conversely, McKee was released by the station and reflected on how it felt for him to be fired for the 10th time of his career.
“You had quite a bit more independent decision-making than I had on that one,” McKee told DeHuff. “Okay, it is what it is; I’ve been through it before and just got to [take it] one day at a time and figure it out.”
McKee enjoyed his time on the air and thanked all of the fans who left messages on social media demonstrating their support and appreciation for his work. While he is not sure where his career will take him next, he ostensibly wants to continue to use his gift of gab to inform and entertain the public, presumably in the sports media industry.
“I have no plans to go anywhere,” he said. “We’re off to the next adventure, and [I am] kind of traveling down and trying to catch up with this world, man – the podcast world; the digital world.”
Tiki Barber Walks Out Of WFAN Studio During Argument With Joe Benigno
“OK. So don’t give me this nonsense how you’re analyzing Zach Wilson. I don’t want to hear it! It’s BS, Tik! He stinks!”
WFAN host Tiki Barber found himself opposite station legend Joe Benigno in a debate about the New York Jets on Monday, and by the end of it Barber had to leave the studio to calm down.
It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks for the Jets and their fans. Since Aaron Rodgers suffered a season-ending injury on the fourth play of the first game, the Jets went to Dallas and got beat pretty handedly by the Cowboys in Week 2 and then never really kept pace with the Patriots at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
In an appearance on Evan & Tiki, Benigno took Barber to task for his analysis of the Jets and defense of quarterback Zach Wilson, saying Tiki couldn’t properly analyze the team’s play considering he is a beloved former member of the New York Giants and that he was calling a different game for CBS at the same time.
“All I know is this, yesterday you were in Washington with the Commanders and the Bills were you not?” Benigno asked. Barber responded he was. “OK. So don’t give me this nonsense how you’re analyzing Zach Wilson. I don’t want to hear it! It’s BS, Tik! He stinks!”
Barber, miffed at Benigno’s assertion, responded saying he was turning his mic off before you can see him on the SNY simulcast mouthing, “That’s bullshit and you know it.” He then stands up and proceeds to walk off camera and presumably out of the studio.
Co-host Evan Roberts moments later mentioned to Joe that he annoyed Tiki with what he said, and Benigno, an avid Jets fan, clarified that his comments weren’t meant to be a shot at Barber. Joe is clearly as frustrated about Wilson and the Jets as are plenty of other fans.
“I’m not annoyed at Tiki, but I’m annoyed at the whole freaking situation bro,” Benigno said.
Roberts did come to Barber’s defense in a way saying that Tiki is watching all the games even after completing his own CBS assignment.
“I don’t think he hates our team,” Roberts said.
Benigno did apologize further and that he would find a way to get in touch with him later to smooth things over.
“I don’t mean to take it out on him,” he said. “But I’ve had enough.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.