While promoting his new book Unguarded, Scottie Pippen has been a one-man wrecking crew attacking Michael Jordan’s legacy, but former Chicago Bull Scott Williams confirmed Jordan was and still is a great teammate.
In a recent interview with the Daily Herald, Williams took umbrage with Pippen’s character assassination on His Airness.
“I’m not sure how someone [Jordan] saying you’re [Pippen] the best teammate I ever played with is disrespectful. I don’t get it,” Williams said.
Jordan’s legendary competitive nature and ruthlessness are credited for his success—six rings and the title of GOAT.
But, Pippen writes in Unguarded that the Bulls won in spite of Jordan’s bullying.
Michael was wrong. We didn’t win six championships because he got on guys. We won in spite of his getting on guys. I was a much better teammate than Michael ever was. Ask anyone who played with the two of us. I was always there with a pat on the back or an encouraging word, especially after he put someone down for one reason or another. I helped the others to believe in and stop doubting themselves.
Williams has a different take.
“I thought if you were professional around MJ and you came to bring it every day and work hard and not back down in games and give it your all — you wouldn’t have any problems with Mike. You just wouldn’t,” the former Bull told the Daily Herald.
Williams signed with the Bulls as a free agent rookie in 1990 and spent four seasons in Chicago winning three titles.
A six-foot-ten center-power forward, Williams spent 15 total seasons in the NBA, averaging 5.1 points and 4.7 rebounds.
He still occasionally reaches out to Jordan.
“I text him, and he always responds,” Williams said. “I know he’s on the golf course or doing his business with his car or the Hornets. That I can appreciate. Like, ‘Hey, I see you’re going to be on Good Morning America to pump up The Last Dance. Are you up? You ready?’ Little stuff like that.
Williams couldn’t say the same for other former teammates.
I know plenty of times I’ve texted Pip, and it’s been radio silence. Or Amare Stoudemire, ‘Hey, happy birthday, Stat,’ and then crickets. So you tell me who’s been the better teammate over the years?”
Still, Williams wishes Jordan and Pippen would make amends.
“I’ve seen some of the excerpts from Unguarded, and I’m a little saddened by it, to tell you quite honestly,” William said.