The Last Dance (2020): Season 1, Episode 2 - Episode #1.2 - full transcript

Scottie Pippen rises from obscurity to become one of the NBA's best players. An injury early in Michael's career sows distrust with Bulls management.

Scottie, in the paper today,

it says that Phil wants
one more year back here

and Michael wants $36 million.

And it also quotes Jerry Krause
as not ruling out a trade for you,

which leaves you flapping in the breeze.
Does that bother you?


I would love the opportunity
of finishing my career out in Chicago,

but if it don't happen,
then I'll just have to look elsewhere.

I'm one of the best players
to ever play the game.

I understand what my value is
to this game.

You're underpaid
as one of the top players.

What do you think your value is...

My day'll come.

My day will come.

Thank you.

Thank you for all the wonderful moments
that the fans here in this city

have shown me and my teammates
for ten long seasons.

I've had a wonderful career here,

and if I never have the opportunity
to say this again: thank you.

Scottie Pippen
with a tearful thank you.

We thought, for one unconscionable moment,

we might be hearing
a retirement statement there.

What made me upset was
I knew it was the end of the journey,

and I never saw it ending like that.

Jerry Krause made everything
real murky when he said,

"This is Phil's last year.

We're dismantling this team
after this season."

We're basically relieved of our duties.

A spectacular move!

The game's over!

Chicago Stadium is going wild!

First of all, there's
no backstabbing going on here.

It's time for me to move on.

This will be Phil's last year
as coach of the Bulls.

- Are the expectations too high?
- Where do we go from here?

The only question: how long can it last?

I'm being squished.

- Sorry.
- Take it easy.

Michael, what did you make
of Scottie Pippen's speech?

He was kind of caught up in emotions.

Scottie has feelings.

He certainly has dedication and love
for the city of Chicago and, uh...

you know, it's tough when you have
so much appreciation for the fans

who have supported you for so many years

and sometimes,
when you get out there and speak,

it has to touch you deep down inside, um,

and with all that's happened thus far,

it certainly can be
a very emotional situation for him.

Have you talked
with him at all...

Are y'all gonna talk about the game
or about Scottie?

A little bit of both.

Well, you talk to Scottie
to answer Scottie's reply.

- Okay, what about the game, then?
- There you go.

Scottie Pippen
was the underrated,

underappreciated Robin
to Michael's Batman.

I would never be able to find
a tandem, another support system,

another partner in the game of basketball
like Scottie Pippen.

He was a pleasure to play with.

What a show the Bulls
are putting on here.

Pippen right back
to Jordan! Yes. Oh, my!

Through trial and error,

through that kind of blast furnace
that Michael would put people through,

Scottie got tough.

Scottie coming hard
on the drive,

- takes it all the way to the rack... Oh!
- Over Barkley!

And he was lethal, defensively.

Sedale Threatt.
Antonio hard...

- Oh, my, Pippen!
- What a play!

Sensational end-to-end defensive action!

Oh, Pip!

He helped me so much in the way
that I approached the game,

the way I played the game.

Whenever they speak Michael Jordan,
they should speak Scottie Pippen.

When everybody says, well,
I won all these championships.

But I didn't win without Scottie Pippen.

And, you know, that's why I consider him
my best teammate of all time.

I grew up in a town
of about 3,500 people.

Everybody pretty much knew each other.

My mom and my dad were very strong people
and they were about surviving,

and obviously that's what they were about
if they had 12 kids.

We used to have a basket
in my grandmother's yard.

It was in the dirt,
so it would be dusty all the time.

It didn't matter. I had old shoes anyway.

Everybody was close-knit,
everybody shared everything, you know.

It was just a good time.
We didn't even know we were poor.

I was about 11 or 12.

My dad had just gotten home
and as he was eating his dinner,

he just, kinda...

fell back
and he suffered a stroke.

I can still see it every time
I think about it.

He lost his speech
and he was stuck in a wheelchair

and bedridden for the rest of his life.

Six years before that,

my second-oldest brother
was in junior high school.

A kid fell on him in a PE class
with a wrestling move.

It paralyzed him, so...

- So, you grew up with...
- Two.

Yeah. Yeah, with two people
in my house in a wheelchair.

Basketball gave me an opportunity
just to get out of the house and play.

And didn't need anyone to play with.

Dr. J was my childhood hero.

I always wanted to play like him
and dunk the basketball like him.

I felt like, that one day,
I was gonna be in his shoes.

Yeah, that's every kid's dream.

Every kid's dream, wanna play in the NBA
at one time or another.

It's just a dream.

He always knew
he was going to make it to the NBA.

- And you believed him?
- Not really.

Scottie arrived at UCA, and he started off
as being the equipment manager,

but he was practicing
and doing all of those things

that he should do with the team.

A few guys academically fall off
so some scholarships come available,

and I go back, ask the coach.

I was very persistent
and he finally gave me a scholarship.

He came in as a 6'1", 155-pound guard.

I got to watch him play and I thought,

"Wow, this guy's got a little something
if he can fill out."

He started lifting weights.

He could handle the ball better,
he could shoot better.

He could jump higher.

I was getting better at such a rapid pace.

And in my freshman to my sophomore year,
over the summer...

I grew five inches.

When I seen him the next time,
he was 6'5".

And then the next time I seen him,
he was 6'7".

Beautiful pass and he... Oh!

To Pippen cutting right across the line...

He exploded.

Three-on-one break,
Parish to Pippen to the...

He kept his guard skills
that he had even when he grew.

Scottie Pippen
underneath McClain...

He could grab a rebound on one end,

take it the length of the court,
weave in and out of people and dunk it.

Very few players can do that.

I remember the coach saying, "Scottie,
they out there, they looking for you now."

I was a fanatic basketball fan

and I went down and watched Pippen play.
I knew he was gonna be really good.

First time I met him, he could hardly
string three words together,

he was so shy.

By the time he graduated from
the University of Central Arkansas,

which was an NAIA team,

he was the best player
in his division in America.

I just really got excited.

When I saw Scottie Pippen
play the first time,

I thought, "Oh, my Lord,
he's gonna be a special player."

The NBA scouts saw the versatility,
they saw the athletic ability,

they saw the humbleness.

The Seattle SuperSonics select
Scott Pippen of Central Arkansas.

Scott Pippen
from the University of Central Arkansas.

He's 21 years old,
and that's right, folks,

you probably have never heard
of Scottie Pippen.

Scottie, one year ago,

if someone said you'd be
the fifth player in the draft,

what would you have said?

I would have told them, probably,
that they was joking.

I would have figured
it's just been a big joke.

Do you know that there's
a deal involving Seattle and Chicago

and you're going to be traded?

No, I have not heard about it.

- Apparently, you're wearing the wrong hat.
- Yeah?

We realized that we were gonna
have to maneuver to get up in the draft

to get a higher pick than we otherwise
would have had to get him.

And Krause was able to pull off a trade.

We were able to work a trade
the night before the draft

and technically,
the Seattle club took him for us,

and then we acquired him.

You know, Chicago is a great franchise
and probably every player

that's sitting out in the audience
wants to be a part of the Bulls.

The Bulls brought in
Scottie Pippen,

touted to make
an immediate impact in the NBA.

Let's go!

Scottie Pippen
about to make his big-league debut.

Barkley nearly kicked it away,
plays it outside. Stolen by Pippen!

Scottie Pippen on the breakaway!

Scottie Pippen made the steal

and then jammed
with both hands at the other end.

Scottie talked a lot of trash.

Scottie came in and said,
"I'll be better than Michael Jordan..."

as a rookie.

I was pretty confident
in who I was as a player.

But as a rookie,
you get treated like a rookie and...

Charles was a bully,
so he beat me up for saying that.

- He's a rookie here.
- We had a deal...

He get treatment like this
until next year at this time.

All right? All right?

- Yeah.
- Okay.

You gotta slap him.

I recognized instantly that, you know,

you're not the top guy
on the basketball team anymore.

Ball tipped away
by Jordan... It's loose.

Ahead to Jordan with the breakaway...

Michael was such a superstar
in the game of basketball,

and he was bigger than any superstar
that any sport had ever had,

so it wasn't like he was an average guy,
like, "Let's go have lunch," or whatever.

It was different.

Actually, my rookie year,
he gave me a pair of golf clubs.

That's a nice thing to do,
to give a rookie a set of clubs.

Yeah, he was trying to lure me in
so he could take all my money.

Everybody needs
that number two,

the person that does the dirty work,
and Pippen was great at it.

Here comes Michael,
for a three again.

- Scottie with the left hand!
- Wow!

But he was so low paid,

he was not even
the 100th highest-paid player in the NBA.

Pippen is as underpaid as underpaid gets.

Only the 122nd highest-paid player
in the league.

Scottie Pippen
signed a deal in 1991.

Do you recall the terms of that deal?

I don't recall the terms but I do recall
that it was a longer contract

than I thought was smart for him.


I worship you, man!

Scottie Pippen signed a deal in 1991
for 7 years for $18 million.

And if he'd played it right, he could have
made nine times that amount, ten times.

I said to Scottie
the same thing I'd said to Michael.

"If I were you,
I wouldn't sign this contract.

You may be selling yourself too short.

It's too long a contract
you're locking yourself in for."

I felt like I couldn't afford
to gamble myself

getting injured
and not being able to provide.

I needed to make sure that people
in my corner were taken care of.

He did take care of my dad and my mom,
and he built them a house.

He sent 'em money every month
and everything.

They were taken care of.

I don't know nothing
that I need or want.

Some of the things
I don't have to ask him for.

So I feel like he love me.

I know I love him.

He signed a long-term deal
and it was undervalued pretty quickly.

The league took off, you know,

revenues went way, way up,
salaries went up.

Jerry Reinsdorf was emphatic about it
when guys signed a contract.

I don't want to hear from you again.

Don't come back in here,
try to renegotiate.

It was embarrassing

because he was
maybe the number-two player in the NBA.

His value was immense.

Just drop straight down,
there you go.

You know what,
I'm finding it's okay on this one,

but on my other, my patella doesn't...

When we got to '97 and '98,

that was the last year
of Scottie's contract,

I know he was very frustrated,
because Scottie needed to get paid.

He deserved to get paid.

There was a lot of, uh,
anger from Scottie.

He'd been one of the best players
in the game for many years.

He had done so much for the Bulls.

So his frustration bubbled over.

The world champs
making news this week.

Scottie Pippen of the Bulls will be out
for two to three months.

Pippen underwent surgery Monday
on a sore foot in New York.

It's an injury that's been bothering him

dating back to the
Eastern Conference Finals.

I had a ruptured tendon
in my ankle

and I decided to have surgery late

because I was, like, "You know what?

I'm not gonna fuck my summer up
trying to rehab for a season, you know?

They're not gonna be looking forward
to having me.

So, I'mma enjoy my summer,
and I'll use the season to prepare."

Scottie was wrong
in that scenario.

He could have got his surgery done
as soon as the season was over,

and be ready for the season.

What Scottie was trying to do
was trying to force management

to change his contract.

And Jerry wasn't gonna do that.

So, now I gotta start the season knowing
that Scottie wasn't gonna be around.

But we have to find a way to win.

How do you carry this team, now,
November and December without Scottie?

I think we have to do it collectively.

I don't think one individual's
gonna be able to do it.

I think, uh, we as a team,
that's what a team is all about,

so we have
to cover up for Scottie not being here.

We know he's not here,
but that don't mean we stop playing.

Our Chicago Bulls
without Scottie Pippen,

and they apparently missed him tonight.

The Atlanta Hawks
beat the Bulls here in Atlanta.

The final score, 80-78.

This is going to be
the worst setback for the Chicago Bulls.

Cavaliers beat up the Chicago Bulls...

Again, it is still early,

but four and four for the Bulls
out of the gate.

Have not
scored 100 points yet this season.

We're not playing with much continuity
and much rhythm

and that's something
that Scottie really provides for us.

Scottie was so key for our team.
He tied us together in many ways.

And when you're a really good team,
one loss feels like five.

You're just... You're expected to win,
you're supposed to win.

And so, early in that season,
we were losing games

and it felt like trouble.

As time expires,
the Phoenix Suns

have hung on for a dramatic victory
over the Chicago Bulls.

Scottie could've had
surgery after the season ended.


He purposely did this late
to thumb his nose at management.

Were you frustrated
by how he handled this?

No, I wasn't.

You have to understand players' mentality
and where they're coming from,

and some guys can handle it,
some guys can't.

And Scottie probably needed to have this

to feel like
he justified what his salary was.

So I stayed solid, said,
"We're gonna survive this, we'll be fine.

We'll go forward."

That's one of the things
that Phil was really good at,

is managing distractions and keeping
us focused on what we had to do.

Scottie's on a different timetable.

Gonna be a bumpy road till he gets back,

but we gotta manage without him
for right now.

When it came down to it,
this burden always fell on Michael.

And he welcomed it, in a lot of respects.

He liked that.
He liked to take the responsibility.

I'm gearing myself up physically,
to deal with whatever I have to deal with.

I'm looking forward to it, actually.

Michael wanted to be
the best player on the best team.

Scottie's not here
but we're still better than this.

I was trying to get the guys
to understand it from my standpoint.

Scottie was out.
My voice had to be the loudest.

I let my anger motivate
the players by saying,

"I want this! Do you guys want it?"

He's raising his voice
and calling guys out.

"You gotta rebound better, box out.

We're not playing well as a team.
Defensively, we're lazy."

You know what he does? You sit back
and wait. What are you waiting for?

Waiting on the double team.

Why? You play aggressive,
they'll come and help you?

He's not worried about hurting feelings.
If he did, you could leave.

He would gladly tell you, "Get out.
We don't need you here. Get out."

Fuckin' Harp,
what you waitin' all day for?

- You think we can't cope?
- We got time.

Toni, it's okay.

You know why?

'Cause I got to scream at you all day.

Every day
that Scottie wasn't playing

gave someone else the confidence
that they could beat us.


And if you're trying to maintain
dominance over people,

you don't want to give them
a chance to gain confidence.

So that drove my energy.
Let's get this thing rolling.

Let's go out and get our first win.
I ain't gonna say this shit again.

Let's do it.

- What time is it?
- Game time!

This Bull team
fired up tonight, really wants to get off

this 0-4 start on the road.
Embarrassing for such a good team.

The Bulls in their road blacks.
The Clippers are home white.

They play the Clippers, who were a joke,

the worst team in the league.

And yet, the dregs of the league
took the Bulls to two overtimes.

Jordan kept waiting
for somebody else to help him,

and nobody else would help.

For that game, he went somewhere
and he found a switch.

And the answer to the question,

"Is Michael Jordan tired?"

- No.
- No.

Jordan had to score 49
for them to win that game.

No question,
we saw greatness here tonight.

The Bulls win
for the first time on the road, 111-102.

Jordan finishes with a mere 49 points.

We've had opportunities to win, you know,

in all the games on the road
except for Cleveland.

Hopefully, we can build upon this.
We can finish games on the road.

We've been in those games.
And we really needed a win like this.

Jordan was really worn out.
Worn out physically, worn out emotionally.

Good job, bro. Way to finish, man.

Did I have a choice?

- Anyway, Michael, hope you like the story.
- Thank you.

My innate personality
is to win at all costs.

If I have to do it myself,
I'm gonna do it.

Excuse us, please. Excuse us. Excuse us.

Every time I step
on that basketball court,

my focus is to win the game.

Excuse us, please.

Step back.

It drives me insane when I can't.

As you get older, you look back

and you understand how you became
the person you are.

I don't think I would be here without

the lessons that I learned
at a very young age.

That competitiveness within me
started when I was a kid.

My parents provided us

with all the opportunities
to succeed in life.

My father worked at General Electric.
My mother worked at the banks.

As a black person growing up
in Wilmington,

we were trying to make our...
our own footsteps.

As a family, we were naturally tough.
My father was tough, my mom was tough,

and the environment they brought
us in was a tough environment.

You get knocked down, you gotta get up.

And you always give it your best
and you always try to win.

We hated to lose.

Mr. Jordan and myself always
tried to share with them,

"Don't wait for somebody
to give you something.

You're strong, you're intelligent,
go out and earn it and work for it."

We had five kids and both the wife and I,
both worked and, uh...

we would worry, at times,
about the kids being home

so we thought something we could do
was get them involved in sports.

Drop them off
at the Little League field or the gym

and keep 'em involved in the community.

My parents were trying
to keep me busy.

They always wanted all of us
to play organized sports

so that we learn more about life.

At the time, you had racism
all over North Carolina,

all over, you know, the United States.

And there was a lot of it around there.

So, as a kid, it was like,
"Okay, this is where I don't want to be.

I want to excel outside of this."

So my motivation was to be something
outside of Wilmington.

For me, it became athletics.

We used to compete
an awful lot in the backyard.

My brothers hated losing
but not on the same level like me,

because if you beat me back then,
we had to fight.

And that's just the way I was.

They were so competitive
between the two of 'em.

Matter of fact, at that time,
it might be said

that Larry was the best basketball player.

My father pushed, he pushed everybody.

And he had the tendency, if he felt
you weren't doing the best you could,

he would find a way to push you harder.

And that really drove Michael,

because Larry was pretty good
at quite a bit.

I don't think,
from a competitive standpoint,

I would be here without
the confrontations with my brother.

When you come to blows
with someone you absolutely love...

that's igniting every fire within you.

And I always felt like I was
fighting Larry for my father's attention.

I'm a do-it-yourselfer around the house.

So, I could take Larry out

and he was fascinated
by fixing things with his hands.

Took a lot of pride in it.

Michael would be out, you'd say,
"Give me a Phillips screwdriver."

He might give you a pair of pliers.

And I guess I was a little short patient
with him and I'd say,

"Get back in the house with your mom, boy.

You're never going to be anything.
Just go back with your mom."

When you're going through it,
it's traumatic,

because I want that, you know,
I want that approval.

I want that type of confidence.

So my determination got even greater

to be as good, if not better,
than my brother.

I met him in tryouts,

but there was nothing
particularly outstanding in tryouts.

He did not make the varsity team

as a sophomore.

When I got home
and I told my mother I was cut,

I was demoralized,
I didn't want to play any more sports.

I felt like the coach didn't like me.

He was devastated.
He came home upset, crying.

And we both cried, 'cause I knew he wanted
to really compete with the other guys.

My words to him was, "If you really
want it, you work hard over the summer."

And he did that summer.

He focused, he would practice all day.
That basketball never left his hand.

If you wanna bring out
the best in Michael,

tell him he can't do something.

Or he can't do it
as good as somebody else and, uh,

I think that he takes it as
a personal challenge to go out and do it,

just to prove you wrong.

Mike's improvement from his sophomore year
to his junior year was tremendous.

A lot of it had to do with his size.

He was about 5'10" or 5'11".
He came back about 6'3" that fall.

He had great guard skills.
He always played guard.

He always handled the ball.

And now becoming, you know, 6'3 ", 6'4",

that just made him
into a much better ball player.

We knew that he was special.

The athletic director of Hanover County
Schools called us and said,

"I've got a guy down here
I think may have a chance."

And that was Mike Jordan.

And so we invited him
to our basketball camp.

When he got here, we knew of him,
we'd heard he's pretty good.

Five days later, when he left, we thought
he was the best player in America.

It was the third game
of the season in the second season.

We're playing Golden State.
I go up for a lob...

Bulls on the run to Michael Jordan...

...and when I landed,
I landed flat-footed.

Looks like Michael
came out limping a little bit.

He's a little ginger on that ankle.
He had hurt it a little earlier.

When they did the CAT scan,
it was a clear break, and...

I was done.

Last year's Rookie of the Year
Michael Jordan

out with a broken left foot.

I was devastated
because I never got hurt.

I'm in a cast. I couldn't do anything.
I was anxious.

I'm pretty sure
I was irritable to a lot of people.

He broke this bone,
right in the middle.

It's an area of the body

that may not heal very rapidly
because of the poor blood supply.

The healing time can vary from six weeks,
12 weeks or even longer.

And occasionally,
that fracture does not heal.

Michael had never missed
a game, through high school,

college and the NBA, so far.

All of a sudden, he misses 64.

I'm doing nothing,
watching games, sitting on the bench.

My mother and father came up
and spent a lot of time.

You could not keep him
on that bench.

Mr. Jordan and myself is saying,
"Michael, you are not ready."

He said, "I don't think you can tell me.
I know when my body's ready."

"The doctor knows when you're ready."

I was itching to do something.


I talked the Bulls into letting me
go back to college.

I just started going to the gym, shooting.

Then I started playing one-on-one,

and then I started playing two-on-two,
then I started playing three-on-three.

Next, I was playing five-on-five,
and the Bulls never knew I was doing it.

And when I got back with the Bulls...

my calf muscles in my injured calf
were stronger than my uninjured calf.

So the first thing they said,
"What the hell you been doing?

Blah blah blah."

No, we didn't really know he was playing
until he came back and told us.

When Michael came back, he said,

"I've been playing an hour and a half
a day for the last week."

And after my heart dropped out,

I just dropped down
and, oh, my God.

I gradually worked my way up to a point
where I'm playing five-on-five in a game.

And I got the confidence that the foot
is completely healed and I can play on it.

Michael asked, "If I play, what percentage
is there that I'm gonna get hurt again?"

Doctor said, "10%."

And I just lost it.
I said, "Look, it's 10% chance,

but it's 90% chance that I won't."

And then I chimed in to the doctors,

"What happens if the 10% kicks in?"

And they said,
"Then his career would be over."

Well, everybody's just thinking
about the negative.

While I think the glass is half full,
everybody's thinking it's half empty.

So, I said to Michael, "You're not
understanding the risk-reward ratio.

If you had a terrible headache
and I gave you a bottle of pills,

and nine of the pills would cure you
and one of the pills would kill you,

would you take a pill?"

I look at him and I said, "Depends on
how fucking bad the headache is."

From Jerry Reinsdorf's perspective,

a pure business decision,
you don't play the guy.

Here's your franchise.
Literally, your franchise.

In my mind, he should not risk coming back

because we weren't winning
a championship anyway.

Why even take a 10% risk
that your career is going to be over?

He didn't see it that way.

I'm starting to think,
"Well, maybe it's not me playing,

as opposed to us trying to lose games

so we can move into the lottery."

Is there something
to this business

of wanting a better position?
Getting in the lottery?

I hope not.
That just shows a losing attitude

and not just on the team,
but in the front office also.

We should always go out and try to win.

Exasperated Bulls owner
Jerry Reinsdorf

finally agreed to a compromise

which would allow his star to play

a specified number of minutes
in each game.

We reached a compromise
and we allowed him to come back

and play seven minutes each half.

So they let me go back and play,

and then
they put a time restriction on me.

Jordan with ten points
in limited playing time.

They had him on seven minute
per half time limit, with a stopwatch.


That counts for Michael!

He could be almost in mid-shot,
it's like... tweet.

"Jordan, you're out."

Michael Jordan sat down.

He doesn't seem happy.
He's fired up and ready to go.

They're gonna have to hold him back.

What was the rationale
for the seven minutes per half?

Well, we felt that the doctors had said
a certain amount of time.

We felt we were gonna try
to make the odds right

in a situation
where we would reduce the odds.

At the time,
the coach was Stan Albeck.

So, I said, "Stan, fuck these guys, man.

Give me the most important seven minutes
that you can think about."

So, now we start winning and we start
getting into the playoff picture.

We get to a pivotal game.

We go and play Indiana in Indiana.

We need this game because it puts us
in a position to make the playoffs.

Stan got berated,
saying, "If you put him in one second

more than 14 minutes,
you're fired on the spot."

Jordan around an Oakley screen,

lean-in jumper, left baseline, is in...

For 14 minutes,
I just go absolutely ballistic.

And we were in a position to win.

On the drive,
in from the left,

Eighteen-footer good.
Bulls have the lead...

Outside, Richardson, right side, Fleming,
20-footer, good!

Thirty-one seconds left.
The Bulls take time. Down one...

All of a sudden, my time is up.

I don't know if Jerry came down
from the stands to say,

"Get him out of the game."
There's, like, 30 seconds left.

Thirty-one seconds to go.

Michael's time is up.

I'm just like... I'm angry.

What a sensational performance...

Michael saw it for what it was.

You play the game to win. Period.

"I don't want to hear about
your draft pick.

I don't want to hear about
missing the playoffs

and how good that would be.

That's not how you play the game."

I'm begging Stan, "Put me in the game.

Come on, there's only
14 fuckin' seconds, Stan... 13 seconds.

Put me in for 13 seconds."

He said, "MJ, I can't put you in.
I'll lose my job."

It fueled the whole theory that,

here, we're trying
to not make the playoffs

so we can get a better draft pick.

But I vowed
to make the playoffs every year,

and this is a chance for us
to make the playoffs.

It's our ball, there's 13 seconds left.

Lo and behold,
John Paxson hits a game-winning shot.

Pax comes down
with a jumping one-hander...

Fortunately, I get lucky
and throw some shot in

and we end up winning the game.

The Bulls win it!
The Bulls hang on and win by one!

What a big victory by the Bulls!

We went into the locker room...

Stan locked that door.

And Jerry Krause came, wanting to get in
at the end of the game

and Stan wouldn't let him in.

You know, it was...

It was...

It wasn't a good...
It wasn't a good situation.

The mistrust Michael had
with management,

specifically with Jerry Krause,

was he believed that they violated
the most fundamental aspect of sport,

of, I would argue,
the most fundamental aspect

of the way Michael conducted his life.

You do it at the highest level
and you do it to win, all the time.

From that moment on,

Michael's relationship with the ownership
and management was deeply soured.

That never went away.

No one could limit the power
and the glory of Michael Jordan.

The Bulls made a late-season rush
into a playoff berth,

which, ironically, cost them a chance

at one of the first seven choices
in next year's draft.

We end up making the playoffs having a...

I believe we won only 30 games
in the regular season that year.

We end up the eighth seed.

Jordan essentially wills his team,
with a losing record, into the playoffs.

And what is their reward?

Well, they get to play
the almighty Boston Celtics

with four guys
who'd make the Hall of Fame.

We had Parish, McHale and Walton.

All of 'em were about seven foot tall,
that could score, run, defend.

We had Danny Ainge and Dennis Johnson,
our guards, and I was a small forward.

So, we had a big team, and, uh,
we were deep, we were big,

and of all the teams I've been on, there's
no question, that was the best team.

That setting, against that team...

That's what you play for,
you get to be in those situations.

The Celtics
have won 31 in a row at home.

They beat Chicago six times this year
in the regular season.

Michael had this supreme confidence
about him.

He loved the big stage.

This is the opportunity to play
against Larry Bird and the Celtics.

Man, this is showtime.

Well, Michael was coming off
a pretty serious injury

and we didn't know what to expect.

Michael Jordan is back and there are
no limits to his playing time.

He's really ready to cut loose.

We're ready to go
at the Boston Garden.

They took all the limitations off
and it was like unleashing

a wild dog.

Jordan hangs in the air,
puts it down.

Jordan, shot it from the baseline.

Jordan changed it in midair.
Got it, nonetheless.

Our whole thing was just,
"Do what we can do to hold Michael down."

But you don't hold the great ones down.

Michael Jordan wheels,
fades, off-balance...

Absolutely amazing!

Jordan beats Dennis.

Carlisle has the unenviable task
of playing Jordan.

Isn't that something?

I mean,
Carlisle just wants his mommy.

Jordan with great anticipation.
He's off to the races.

Watch this! Whoo-hoo!

We had a lot of guys in our league
that could score a lot of points.

He took it to another level.

We stuck with the game plan,
and we end up winning the ball game.

McHale, Bird, Parish...
And a foul...

There's the Celtics.

Who's your player of the game, John?

Hard to ignore
Jordan tonight.

We chose him as our player of the game.

Forty-nine points, four rebounds.

A spectacular individual effort
by this guy.

Tough job for the Chicago team now
and for Stan Albeck,

trying to get 'em ready for game two.

They played so hard here tonight.

I remember game two. I'd played golf
with Michael the day before.

It was Michael, Danny,
Mike Carey and myself.

And Michael and Danny are giving it
to each other back and forth.

Before game two,
you played golf with Danny Ainge.


Get through.

I cannot hit it today.

I took a few bucks off of Michael that day
and we're talking trash to each other.

That might have been a mistake.

Get it out.

Pissing me off, man.

We get done, we get in the car,
we drop Danny off first.

And, uh, Michael says,

"Tell your boy DJ
I got something for him tomorrow."

The first game,
the guy scores 49...

but I don't think anyone expected,

going into the next game,
what was going to happen.

♪ No rapper can rap quite like I can ♪

♪ I'll take a musclebound man
And put his face in the sand ♪

♪ Not the last Mafioso, I'm a MC cop ♪

♪ Make you say "Go LL"
And do the wop ♪

He was scoring at will.
Dunks, bankers.

He'd get in the middle
and shoot over guys.

♪ Trendsetter, I'm better
My rhymes are good ♪

♪ I got a gold nameplate that says
"I wish you would" ♪

I played practically
every minute in the second game.

I just never stopped.

On the switch.
Bird guards Jordan.

Jordan hits the jumper anyway.

Stan Albeck kept putting me
in isolated situations

and I just took advantage of my youth
and my energy.

Jordan uses
his quickness and it works.

Jordan with 31. Bullseye.

Jordan against Ainge, spins into the lane,
scoops the shot up and draws the foul.

We all took our cracks at him that day.
It wasn't one guy.

DJ was our best defensive player,

and he picked up four fouls early
in the third quarter.

Four fouls
on Johnson. Welcome to the club.

I was on him for a while,
Danny was on him, DJ was on him a lot.

I remember laughing
in the middle of the game

because Walton was cursing me out

because he had to guard Jordan
on a few occasions.

Walton with five.
Next foul and he's gone...

Jordan isolated one-on-one...


Walton fouled out.

Jordan has shot
18 free throws and made 16.

♪ I eliminate punks
Cut 'em up in chunks ♪

♪ You were souped, you heard me
And your ego shrunk ♪

♪ I'm devastating
I'm so good it's a shame ♪

♪ Cause I eat rappers like a cannibal
They call me insane ♪

♪ I'm as strong as a bull
Of course you know why I pull ♪

♪ I enjoy what I'm doing... ♪

Oh, my!

48 for Michael Jordan.

You liked 49 on Thursday.
How about 50 on Sunday?

Pull-up shot on Parish, good.

Fifty-two for Jordan...

Michael, right base-line jumper... good!
And a foul called.

Michael shooting for the tie
with no time left.

Overtime in Boston Garden!

Jordan hits it. Fifty-six for Jordan.

Sixty-one points to tie all-time
single-game playoff record...

Got it! Sixty-three for Jordan!

A new NBA record has been set
in the Boston Garden.

It was a high-scoring game.

Fortunately for us, we had the last shot.

Bird, pick and roll
to Parish.

And a hard-fought victory
for the Boston Celtics

to take a 2-0 lead.

We were fortunate to win that game,
but Michael put on a show.

Our Miller Lite
most valuable player

of the game is Michael Jordan,

with an all-time record 63 points
in a single playoff game.

We end up winning the series,

but it was an incredible,
incredible playoff performance.

I've never seen it before
and I had never seen it after.

That wasn't Michael Jordan out there.
That was God disguised as Michael Jordan.

Nobody like him.

Point blank.
I never seen nobody play like he plays,

and, uh, you can include all of 'em.

Jordan is the most talented player
in the NBA...

uh, by far.

Guys like myself and Larry,
who knew the game,

who knew championship basketball,

we knew the guy was coming. Right?

He just needed the right horses
to go along with him.

We realized
that Michael Jordan

was the greatest ball player in the NBA.

So, a year later,
we basically rebuilt the entire team.

Krause went to work.

We added some great people
like Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen.

We changed the makeup of the team.

I will always give Jerry Krause
credit for assembling a roster that fit.

I'm sure one of the hardest trades
he ever had to make

was trading Charles Oakley to New York
for Bill Cartwright.

We needed a big man.
So, Bill was a great fit.

As much as I love Charles,

this fits us better than
what Charles gives us right now.

Michael was very fond of Charles
'cause Charles was his protector.

Mike was always attacking the basket
and he got knocked down a lot,

and Charles was always the guy
to back him up.

Oakley going
right after "Hot Rod" Williams.

When Krause pulled
the trigger on that trade,

that was probably
one of the defining things in his career.

Charles Oakley and I
were good friends.

We'd spent a lot of time together.

But things were in place for us to win,
you know, when he left.

Jerry did a phenomenal job
with the team.

He made great trades,
made great free agent signings.

He deserves a lot of credit.

But he couldn't get out of his own way.

Scottie had problems with Jerry and, um,

it came out on several occasions.

The thing was... And part of,
you know, Scottie's anger,

was they did look
into seriously trading him

after the '96-'97 season.

Anybody can be traded

and part of my responsibility

is to listen to other teams
when they talk to me about our players.

And we think Scottie Pippen is certainly,

one of the top couple of players
in basketball,

and feel very strongly about him.

And I can't tell you
what's gonna happen in the future,

because I don't know.

Krause's point then was,
"Look, we're gonna lose Pippen in a year.

The group doesn't have that much left.

Let's blow it up now."

But ownership said no.

But I killed that
because I decided that

as long as Michael Jordan
was still gonna be here,

we gotta go for the sixth championship.

Jerry, how close did you come
to dealing Scottie Pippen?

Well, we had a number of offers

we thought were good offers for Scottie
and for some of our other players.

I'm never going to stop being aggressive,

and I will never stop trying to do things
to make the team better.

That really is what sort of...

tarnished my relationship with Jerry.

He tried to make me feel so special,

but yet, he was still, like,
willing to trade and do all that stuff,

but never would tell me to my face.

After you're in the game for a while,

you realize that nobody is untradeable,

but I felt insulted.

I sort of took the attitude
of disrespecting him to some degree.

There was always barbs
going back and forth,

but at a certain point,
Scottie crossed a line.

I mean, it was getting... personal.

Pippen started abusing Krause openly,
cursing him out on the bus.

Couldn't tolerate him anymore.
Didn't respect him.

I remember some shots coming
from the back of the bus.

Raise your eyebrows, you know.

Pippen started berating Jerry Krause...

in front of the team.

We had to say, "Hey, let's hold it down."
You know?

But that's when it was, like,
"Hey, there's a divide here."

It's not your normal...
I mean, there's some hard feelings.

"You don't appreciate me.

You're trying to trade me.
You won't pay me.

Well, screw you.
I'm taking care of myself now."

I was at that point where I felt
like I needed to do what was best for me.

I felt like it was time for me
to go shopping.

Pippen is now demanding a trade
and he says

he will not return from the injured list
until he is gone from Chicago.

He said he's never gonna play
for the Bulls ever again.

"I'm never gonna wear this uniform
ever again."

Should the Bulls do something
that would make you want to stay?

I mean, no. I don't...
I don't see myself carrying on.

Scottie made some
earth-shattering comments last night

to one of the Chicago writers,
about wanting to be traded.

- Can we get your thoughts on that?
- I don't really have any right now.

I felt like Scottie was being selfish.

Worrying about himself as opposed to

what his word was to the organization
as well as to the team.

I'm done here,
you know what I'm saying?

You've already written my script out
that this is it.

So, I had to do what was best for me.