Scottie Pippen burned many bridges in his book "Unguarded" including the one to his teammate Michael Jordan. Now, Pippen claims he regrets not being closer to MJ on two separate occasions.
We often assume great teammates are also close off the court. Pippen's relationship with Jordan was thought to be on another level. They were unstoppable on the court, they had a job to do, and they were good at it. But if fans thought they were more than best friends, Pippen burst that bubble and described their relationship as professional at best. However, Pip lamented the chances he let slip away that could have forged their friendship stronger.
One was refusing to play golf with MJ, who was obsessed with it. The other one was not reaching out when Mike's father tragically passed away. In his book, Scottie claimed his doctor barred him from playing golf in his rookie year due to his bad back. Meanwhile, he clarified why he had not talked to MJ about his father's death.
"Michael's father, James Jordan, had been murdered. The two were inseparable. When I heard the news, I should have reached out to Michael right away. Instead, I went through the Bulls' PR department, and once they told me no one from the organization had been in contact with him, I gave up. To this day, he and I haven't spoken about his father's death."
Scottie Pippen, 'Unguarded'
Calls right that are never easy, but you know what they say - where there's a will, there's a way.
If Scottie played golf with MJ or reached out when he was struggling with the loss of his dad, would it change things? Definitely. Friends who support each other's passion and hobbies become closer. Also, those who reach out to people during tough times show compassion and love as friends.
Number 23 and number 33 went to battles and won championships together. While building the Chicago Bulls dynasty in the 90s, Jordan and Pippen spent more time together than with their families. On top of that, they spent a few summers playing for Team USA as well.
Things happen for a reason, and Pippen had many chances to develop a deeper bond with Mike. It's too late now, especially after everything he said about his teammate in his tell-all book. Only time can tell if MJ and Pippen can still resolve things and restore whatever friendship is left. We hope they can.