Pippen’s leadership, while Jordan was taking hacks in the batter’s box, was featured in Episode 7 of “The Last Dance” ESPN's miniseries on Sunday. One of the most controversial points of Pippen’s season was when he decided to sit in the final seconds of a playoff game between the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks.
In Game 3, Pippen and the Bulls were down with less than two seconds remaining. Bulls coach Phil Jackson drew up a play for Toni Kukoc to take the last-second shot with Pippen taking the ball out of bounds. Pippen was unhappy with Jackson’s play call.
“I felt like it was an insult, coming from Phil,” Pippen said. “I was the most dangerous guy on our team, so why you asking me to take the ball out?”
When Pippen told Jackson he was “out,” Steve Kerr recalled Jackson saying “f—k him.”
Kukoc would get the ball and hit the game-winning shot. But a toll was taken on the team and may have altered the rest of the Bulls’ run.
“I was obviously happy for making the shot, but the whole situation even going toward the locker room everybody was pissed that everything was not right,” Kukoc said.
Pippen recalled the moment in the documentary.
“I wish it never happened, but if I had a chance to do it over again, I probably wouldn’t change it,” he said.
For an insider's perspective on "The Last Dance," check out Fox Nation's new show "Guarding Jordan," where former NBA star and coach Jeff Hornacek reflects on going head-to-head against the NBA superstar in the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals.