'It just makes me sad': Ex-Bulls forward Williams troubled by Pippen's shots at Jordan
Former Bulls forward Scott Williams is watching Scottie Pippen use his new book to snipe at Michael Jordan like he has two brothers or two best friends in a bitter fight. Williams just wishes it would stop.
"I've seen some of the excerpts and I'm a little saddened by it, to tell you quite honestly," William said in a phone interview. "I have such fond memories and I hung out a lot with Scottie and I like Scottie. I've never said a bad thing about him. But I just never saw any of that disappointment or hatred or animosity while I was a teammate of his.
"As a teammate and loving all my teammates from those years, I don't want to say it's painful, but it just makes me sad."
Williams played on the Bulls' first three championship teams from 1991-93. He left as a free agent in 1994 and ended up spending his final season in Cleveland as a teammate of second-year pro LeBron James in 2004-05.
These days, Williams is serving as a broadcaster for Grand Canyon men's basketball, coached by ex-Bull Bryce Drew. He's also selling some of his Bulls memorabilia through Heritage Auctions.
In his new book "Unguarded," Pippen does explain his anger toward both Jordan and the Bulls in the prologue. He's not happy that "The Last Dance" documentary, which could have been the story of the 1997-98 Bulls, became the Michael Jordan show. Pippen doesn't think he or his teammates were portrayed fairly, and questioned why the series focused on the 1.8 seconds incident in the 1994 playoffs more than Pippen's contributions to the six titles.
Pippen wrote that he's unhappy with the Bulls because he wanted to play a significant role in the front office and was never given the chance. He also wasn't happy John Paxson fired Bill Cartwright as head coach during Pippen's short-lived comeback with the Bulls.
Williams had a minor role in "The Last Dance" and was happy the early years of the dynasty were included. He also thinks a reminder of Jordan's greatness for the younger generation was warranted.
"MJ, he just had a little something different than more of these other Hall of Famers," Williams said. "I'm glad they took the time to go back to that first group and what it was like before they had a championship and getting beat by Detroit and all those difficult losses in the playoffs."
But now Williams gets questions about the Pippen-Jordan relationship or whether Jordan was nicer to Williams since both played at North Carolina.
"I'm not sure how someone saying you're the best teammate I ever played with is disrespectful. I don't get it," Williams said. "He (Jordan) is very, very competitive. He wasn't a challenging teammate. I played with challenging teammates. They didn't want to come to practice and work and weren't professional. Those were challenges.
"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.
"I think guys that just wanted to live the NBA lifestyle, wanted the fame and the money and the cars and the clothes and the women. You were going to have a problem with Mike, absolutely 100%. He wasn't going to stand for that."
Williams said he hasn't met up with Jordan in a long time, but stays in touch.
"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.
"He's like, 'Yeah, my brother, I'm up. I'm ready to go.' Little things like that mean a lot. 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?"
As far as selling some of his Bulls gear, Williams figured better to sell some of it than keep it in storage. Included in the auction -- which closes Friday night -- are autographed basketballs from all three of his championship teams, a 1991 championship rings, some playoff-worn uniforms and other items.
"How many times can you frame your old Bulls jersey and hang it in your office?" Williams said. "It's kind of like me going to eBay."