It seems as though that the in vogue thing to do for athletes and celebrities whose “15 minutes” have passed them by is to claim that someone from their past is a racist or was racist — in their minds — to them at some point during their careers. Well, it’s getting old, and now we have yet another example in Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen.
While appearing on the “Dan Patrick Show” to push his new line of bourbon, the six-time NBA champion — who kept referring to himself in third person — claimed that Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson is a “racist.”
Patrick and Pippen were reviewing a play from the 1994 NBA Playoffs in which Jackson called a last-second play for former Bulls player Toni Kukoc — who is white — instead of Pippen who was essentially leading the team that year while Bulls legend Michael Jordan was retired for that season.
Patrick brought up Pippen’s comments that he made about the specific play in a recent GQ interview where he called Jackson’s decision “a racial move.”
“By saying a racial move, you’re calling Phil a racist,” Patrick said.
“I don’t got a problem with that,” Pippen replied.
Pippen then doubled down and reiterated his point by breaking the play down, among other things.
Here’s video of the exchange between Pippen and Patrick:
DP: ".. By saying it was a racial move then you're calling Phil Jackson a racist..."— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) June 28, 2021
Pippen: "I don't have a problem with that."
DP: "Do you think Phil was?"
Pippen: "Oh yeah..."
Exchange with @ScottiePippen on Phil's decision to have Kukoc take final shot against the Knicks pic.twitter.com/pH2aDLMDcQ
As someone who grew up a Chicago Bulls fan and watched every minute of every game in the 1990s, Kukoc was a better pure shooter. Pippen was one of the best all-around players in the entire league, but because the play wasn’t called for him, Pippen decided to sit on the bench for the final play in a very important game against the New York Knicks.
Jackson’s decision proved to be the correct one as Kukoc ended up making the last-second shot and winning the game for the Bulls.
It’s easy to call someone racist. It takes any responsibility for someone’s actions off of them and places it directly on the person who is being accused. It’s a lazy tactic.
Ask Jordan if he thinks Jackson is racist for calling all of those plays for him back in the day.
Maybe Pippen’s been drinking too much of his own bourbon.