Scottie Pippen was part of the famous Chicago Bulls team that managed to win 6 NBA titles and is widely regarded as the greatest NBA team of all time.
Michael Jordan was at the helm of it all for the Bulls, ably leading the side and coming up with the goods during clutch situations.
However, Jordan’s time in the NBA wasn’t all smooth sailing, as he retired post Bulls’ first three peat, announcing his retirement on Oct 6 1993.
Michael Jordan then returned to the NBA in 1995, with a renewed passion for the game and led the Bulls to another three peat, winning three back-to-back titles from 1995 to 1998.
OTD (1995) Michael Jordan came out of his 17-month retirement.
The game was televised on NBC and drew 10.9 national rating and an estimated 35 million viewers, making it the most watched regular season game in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/pHZ1t7vVUj
— OLDSKOOLBBALL (@Oldskoolbball1) March 19, 2018
Those 2 words were all that #MichaelJordan said in a two-word fax sent #TDIH 1995, announcing his (then-first) return to the #Bulls and the #NBA from retirement. Just a week later he would famously drop 55 on the #Knicks at Madison Square garden. pic.twitter.com/zUaRsnuVo0
— WGNTV (@WGNTV) March 18, 2018
Jordan then announced his second retirement on January 13 1999. The retirement largely was due to Phil Jackson’s expiring contract and the expected departures of Scottie Pippen and Denis Rodman.
Now, with Jordan’s retirement anniversary in a couple of days, Pippen has spoken about Jordan’s second retirement and how the Chicago Bulls’ front office was to blame for letting all their stars leave and end the Bulls’ domination of the league.
In an interview with ESPN, Pippen spoke about how the players had decided to move away from the team after the season.
Pippen believes that the team had the opportunity to carry on and carry on winning more NBA titles, but a conscious decision had been made to walk away.
Pippen then went onto reveal that he and Michael Jordan actually wanted to stay, but the front office had decided that that was that for the players and it was time to move on.
Check out the video here
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen believed that the Bulls had the chance to win another title, but that was probably not how the Bulls management envisaged things.
Michael Jordan had admitted in his retirement announcement that he had already informed the organisation in 1997 that he was mentally exhausted and may not play again next year.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) October 7, 2017
On this day in 1999, Michael Jordan announced his retirement from professional basketball for the second time. pic.twitter.com/XjgzE12wG5
— Norm Kelly (@norm) January 13, 2018
He wanted to just plant the idea in the heads of the Chicago management, so that they could plan for the future.
However, Jordan did play next season and won the title with the Bulls.
While the decision would have largely been MJ’s, according to this interview from Pippen the Chicago front office did have a large role to play in Michael Jordan’s retirement and Pippen moving away.
Do you think Jordan could have added to his 6 NBA titles had he not retired in 1999?