However, Pippen doesn’t believe the documentary, that aired on Netflix during the height of lockdown, accurately reflected those glory years and instead believes it was a self-serving project designed to boost Jordan’s ego.
The 10-part series was co-produced by Jordan’s production company and Pippen was disappointed by how some episodes portrayed the Bulls’ journey.
“I don’t think it was that accurate in terms of really defining what was accomplished in one of the greatest eras of basketball, but also by two of the greatest players — and one could even put that aside and say the greatest team of all time,” Pippen said in an interview with The Guardian.
“I didn’t think those things stood out in the documentary.
“I thought it was more about Michael trying to uplift himself and to be glorified.
“I think it also backfired to some degree in that people got a chance to see what kind of personality Michael had.”
Asked if he’d spoken to Jordan about this view, Pippen added: “Yeah. I told him I wasn’t too pleased with it. He accepted it. He said, ‘Hey, you’re right’. That was pretty much it.”
Pippen was a key figure in the documentary and one of many players from that era interviewed to give their take on being part of Jordan-mania. However, ESPN reported in May Pippen was “beyond livid” for how he came across in The Last Dance.
Jordan’s criticism in the doco of Pippen’s “selfish” decision, when reflecting on his contract dispute heading into the 1997/98 season, did not sit well with His Airness’ former right hand man, according to the ESPN report.
It also emerged Pippen was “wounded” by his portrayal in the series, despite Jordan declaring Pippen was the greatest teammate he ever had.
His claim the series “backfired” on his former teammate refers to it reaffirming the perception Jordan was a bully who intimidated and berated his colleagues, with footage showing him regularly making fun of, and fighting with, his fellow Bulls.
A pathological desire to win above all else was blindingly obvious in the series, and Jordan admitted he may come across like a “tyrant”.
“I think Michael Jordan is very delusional about himself and the way he relates to other people,” Anderson said. “That’s the only way I can rationalise why he was comfortable with this portrayal of himself.
“He believes that being cruel and being abusive to people, is leadership. That’s what he thinks and he doesn’t have a problem with you knowing that.
“He has a problem with people thinking he’s mean because of doing that but he doesn’t actually think that there’s anything wrong.”
TV host and diehard Bulls fan Chris Hayes added: “You’re aware at some level this is how Michael Jordan wants to present himself, and yet he does not come off well.
“This is the way you chose to present yourself? Because you come off as a real f***ing psycho.
“There are moments, tiny little moments of self-awareness but generally what you’re getting is a self-justifying egomaniac explain to you why this single-minded sociopathic pursuit of excellence was necessary.”