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Scottie Pippen Accuses Phil Jackson of Being Racist

Hall of Fame forward Scottie Pippen accused his former coach Phil Jackson of racism Monday, doubling down on an earlier comment about an incident from the 1994 playoffs.  

While appearing on Monday's Dan Patrick Show, Pippen addressed comments he made in an interview with GQ about a 1994 playoff game between the Bulls and Knicks.

With the score tied at 102 with 1.8 seconds remaining, Pippen infamously refused to enter the game coming out of a timeout. Pippen stayed on the bench in protest because Jackson elected to draw up the Bulls' last-second play for then-rookie Toni Kukoč instead of him. Kukoč went on to make the game-winning jumper.

"I felt like it was an opportunity to give (Kukoč) a rise," Pippen told GQ. "It was a racial move to give him a rise. After all I’ve been through with this organization, now you're gonna tell me to take the ball out and throw it to Toni Kukoč? You’re insulting me."

When asked about his "racial" comment Monday, Pippen doubled down. 

"Why would Toni, who's a rookie, get the last-second shot and you put me out of bounds? That's what I mean racial," Pippen said.

Patrick replied, "By saying 'a racial move,' then you're calling Phil a racist." 

"I don't got a problem with that," Pippen said.

Patrick then directly asked Pippen whether he thought Jackson was or is a racist. 

"Oh, yeah," Pippen said. "Do you remember Phil Jackson left the Lakers, went (and) wrote a book on Kobe Bryant, and then came back and coached him? I mean, who would do that? You name someone in professional sports that would do that." 

"And you're [Jackson], who sits in the locker room and tells the players 'this is a circle, and everything stays within the circle because that's what team is about.' But you as a head coach open it up and now you go out and try to belittle—at that time probably one of the greatest players in the game." 

Pippen was referring to The Last Season, a book published in 2004 after Jackson left the Lakers, with whom he won three championships while coaching Bryant. The book was critical of Bryant and divulged tensions within the locker room surrounding the team.

Jackson would eventually return in 2005 to coach the Lakers and Bryant. The duo went on to win two more championships in 2009 and 2010. 

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