The Loop

Chicago Beef

"I don't see many bad-back games, but I do see flu games” says Scottie Pippen as the Michael Jordan revenge tour picks up steam

November 10, 2021

Last week we shared some choice tidbits from Scottie Pippen’s new memoir, ‘Unguarded.’ In those excerpts, the NBA hall of famer pulled no punches when discussing his portrayal in the Michael Jordan victory lap known as ‘The Last Dance.’ “Michael could shoot 6 for 24 from the field, commit 5 turnovers,” Pippen and co-author Michael Arkush wrote, “and he was still, in the minds of the adoring press and public, the Errorless Jordan.”

That was one of countless seething Pippen quotes from the chapter, but one that resonates even more this week after Pippen hopped on SiriusXM’s NBA Radio to throw some additional shade in MJ’s direction. Check it out.

Safe to say, Scottie Pippern’s “book tour” has now fully devolved into a “revenge tour.” You could open a winery with all these sour grapes, and Frank Isola does a masterful job fermenting them, coaxing this instantly viral soundbite out of Pippen in a way that makes Pippen think he brought it up all on his own. That, kids, is the name of this journalism game.

As for the quote itself, hoo boy, what a doozy. Pippen is of course comparing Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, when he attempted to go with a herniated disk only to aggravate it on one of the first plays of the game, to Michael Jordan’s fabled “Flu Game.” After the injury, Pippen was mostly a passenger as Jordan carried the Bulls to their sixth and final title, and over 20 years later, the memory is still stuck in his teeth like a popcorn kernel. It would be the last game the pair would ever play together.

Now we’re not here to weigh a bad back against the flu on the Suffering-o-Meter. You don’t want either one of them, let’s just say that. We are here to rubberneck, however, and you can bet that as long as Scottie Pippen’s revenge tour rolls on—brakes cut, canyon looming—we’ll be watching.