Scottie Pippen, clearly the Robin to Michael Jordan’s Batman, just can’t quite come to grips with the fact that his hardwood heroics weren’t on the same level as MJ’s. Less than two weeks after news surfaced that Pippen attacked Jordan and Charles Barkley in his new book, the Hall of Famer took to radio to voice his displeasure with the treatment Jordan received following his legendary “flu game.”
“Is it easier to play with a herniated disc or to play with the flu?” Pippen asked host Frank Isola on SiriusXM NBA Radio.
Pippen, of course, was referring to Game Five of the 1997 NBA Finals when a flu-stricken MJ scored 38 points to lead the Bulls to a series-altering win in Utah.
“I don’t see too many ‘Bad Back’ games but I do see ‘Flu Games’.”
Scottie Pippen reveals to @TheFrankIsola just how bad his back was injured the 1998 NBA Finals… and why not enough people paid attention to it.
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) November 9, 2021
Though he didn’t dispute that Jordan was ill, Pippen believes that the flu was less debilitating for MJ than his own sore back was for him.
“I was done, pretty much. I mean — I struggled to pull it through in that game and I suffered from it, still suffering from it, but I wouldn’t have played in a Game 7. I just wasn’t able to go,” Pippen told Isola.
Talk about feeling salty in Salt Lake City!
The longtime Bulls forward was hampered by a bad back throughout the 1998 NBA Finals and was essentially a decoy in the deciding sixth game. He spent nearly the entire game moving back and forth between the locker room for treatment and the court.
“I was running back in the locker room [to get] cortisone, whatever kind of medication I could get in me — heat pack, whatever, to try to carry on,” added Pippen.
In Pippen’s mind at least, playing through the bothersome back presented more of a struggle than Jordan’s illness, telling Isola: “I don’t see too many bad back games but I do see flu games. Flu? Come on.”
Pippen can’t help but be himself and roll his eyes over all the Jordan praise. But then, Pippen should always be himself. Unless he can be Batman. Then he should always be Batman.
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