Scottie Pippen sounds off on Michael Jordan by downplaying legacy of ‘flu game’



Scottie Pippen continues to sound off on his time with the Bulls and his relationship dynamic with Michael Jordan.

To promote his newly-released memoir “Unguarded,” the Hall of Famer held a Town Hall on SiriusXM NBA Radio along with Frank Isola and he didn’t mince his words when comparing the back injury that he played through during the Bulls’ sixth title run in 1998 to Jordan’s famed “Flu Game” in 1997.

MORE: Pippen unloads on Jordan in new book

Pippen, who had well-documented back issues during the 1998 Finals, spoke on the severity of the injury, sharing that he would not have been able to play if the series had gone to seven games.

“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.

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Pippen continued, detailing how an early hit from Karl Malone in Game 6 caused discomfort that required constant attention and treatment for the entirety of the game, adding that “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.”

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Isola then drew a parallel to Jordan’s ability to play through various ailments, namely Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, where Jordan played through the flu and was famously photographed leaning on Pippen in the game’s final moments. 

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Pippen was quick to speak his mind on that, asking Isola, “is it easier to play with a herniated disc or to play with the flu?” 

After Isola chimed in, Pippen answered his own question, saying “I don’t see too many bad back games but I do see flu games. Flu. Come on.”

Since the release of ESPN’s 10-part “Last Dance” documentary, Pippen has not been shy about speaking his mind on Jordan and the Bulls, even calling the six-time Finals MVP “condescending” in his upcoming book.

Pippen’s “Unguarded” hit bookshelves worldwide on Tuesday, Nov. 9.


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