After Scottie Pippen calls Phil Jackson a racist, Shaquille O’Neal is weighing in to give his side of things.
It appears no one is safe when it comes to Scottie Pippen and his recent barrage of comments towards players and coaches of past and present. One of the latest to receive criticism from Pippen is his former head coach Phil Jackson.
As a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Monday, Pippen elaborated further on some comments he made in a GQ feature by Tyler Tynes. Pippen went on to say Jackson was a “racist”, and that was the motive behind drawing up a play during Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Bulls and Knicks. In a tie game with 1.8 seconds remaining, the decision was to have Pippen inbound the ball to his Croatian teammate Toni Kukoc for the game-winning shot.
Rather than accept this role, Pippen chose to sit out. The Bulls played on, and ended up winning the game while Kukoc nailed the game winner. Pippen said on The Last Dance documentary if he had to go back, he would do it again.
There’s still some resentment from Pippen, and now he’s saying Jackson’s decision was racially motivated.
Pippen has also gone on record as saying Michael Jordan was selfish for leaving the Bulls to play baseball, Kevin Durant tried to do too much on his own, and Charles Barkley is a fake tough guy.
Shaquille O’Neal gives his thoughts after Scottie Pippen calls Phil Jackson a racist
Having played for Jackson during their tenure with the Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal joined FanSided’s Mark Carman and give his thoughts on the comments. Shaq believes all the recent comments from Pippen are to promote his new book and bourbon, and also says Jackson isn’t a racist.
“I don’t want to get involved in other people’s beef, but Phil is definitely not a racist, O’Neal said. “What he said about Barkley makes a lot of sense, but he’s coming out with a new drink and a new book. Maybe this is all marketing.”
Pippen coming out with these remarks is certainly enough to draw attention the attention he’s looking for in terms of promoting his business ventures. There’s no questions Pippen is one of the All-Time greats in NBA history, and he played a critical part in delivering six championships to Chicago.
At some point you’d have think his marketing team draws a line in terms of what he is throwing out there. Some of the criticism including Jordan’s choice to leave basketball and play baseball seems unfair given how known it was as a decision after the murder of his father James Jordan. Now you have Jackson being called a racist which could impact his image and career going forward.
In today’s era of self-branding and promotions, there’s no telling what he might say next to draw more attention.