Retired Chicago Bulls great Scottie Pippen has been on an interesting promo tour lately for his new bourbon, Digits, and upcoming memoir, Unguarded. In an interview with GQ Magazine this past June, the six-time NBA champ was unashamed when talking about old beefs and clearing up misconceptions. Naturally, the subject of longtime rival and one-time teammate Charles Barkley came up.
Pippen and Barkley never got along during their time in the NBA, and “The Round Mound of Rebound” reportedly threatened to “murder” Pippen if he didn’t apologize for calling him fat; this was 22 years ago. Pippen told GQ, “I never apologized to him, but I’ll tell you what: He only got arrested for throwing some little white guys out of a window. I ain’t never seen him fight a Black man unless there were referees around.” Sir Charles did not take well to that comment and appeared on ESPN 1000’s Waddle and Silvy this week to say his piece on Pippen.
“I don’t walk around saying I’m Billy Badass,” Barkley told the radio hosts, “but I can promise you one thing — I’m tougher than Scottie Pippen. Let me put that to rest right now.” Barkley stands approximately at 6’4″ and weighed over 300 lbs. at one point, while Pip stands at a lanky 6’8″ and tipped the scale at 228 lbs. in his heyday, so it would be a curious clash of styles if these two ever throw down.
After last year’s popular ESPN docuseries The Last Dance, there has been greater interest taken in Pippen’s recollection of affairs, and he’s appeared more confrontational than fans of his usual mellow demeanor might remember.
Pippen’s addressed his feelings about fellow champ and NBA G.O.A.T Michael Jordan (“[W]e never really had that off the court relationship.), coach Phil Jackson (“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.”), and even superstars Kevin Durant versus Lebron James (“[T]his is no knock to KD, but they asked me, “Has he surpassed LeBron James?” And my answer was: LeBron James knows team basketball better than KD.”).
But Barkley has had experience tussling with Shaquille O’Neal since 1999, although those two have since mended fences and are likelier to be horsing around than going at each other’s throats. Either way, Pippen may have bitten off more than he can chew with this feud – let’s wait and see!