Michael Jordan

Will Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen show up for the Bulls Ring of Honor ceremony?

Jordan will not attend the event, but the Bulls will share a video-recorded message from him at halftime

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It's no secret Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen's relationship has withered in recent years.

The duo, who were the on-court catalyst for the Bulls to win six championships in the 1990s, were once thought of as great friends off the court. They weren't enemies back then, but they weren't much of friends, either. In recent years, certain and several events transpired that caused the duo's relationship to decline.

And on Friday, the Bulls will honor and celebrate the 13 inductees they qualified for their inaugural Ring of Honor class. Pippen and Jordan are both included in the inaugural class. All eyes turn to the event to see who will attend.

Jordan will not attend the event. He did, however, share a video message thanking the Reinsdorfs and the fans.

Pippen is not expected to attend the event, either.

"It would be better if everybody would be here," Reinsdorf said when asked about the attendance of the inductees. "We knew going in not everybody could be here."

Jordan and Pippen's reasoning for not attending is unknown. It's not definitive if either of their absences is related to the other. Either way, here's everything that's transpired between Jordan and Pippen that led to the downfall of their relationship.

On the court

Jordan and Pippen played 10 seasons together with the Bulls. They won six championships together, solidifying themselves as one of the NBA's greatest duos in its history.

The last time the two played together in an NBA game was Game 6 of the 1998 Finals. Jordan notoriously sunk a go-ahead jumper from the free throw line to give the Bulls their sixth championship in eight seasons.

Pippen's 47th birthday

Celebrating in Chicago, Jordan attended Pippen's surprise 47th birthday party in 2012. The two shared photos and partied like it was 1998 again.

Certainly, they've seen each other since then. But off the court, this is one example of their once long-standing, off-court friendship.

The Last Dance

In April 2020, Netflix released "The Last Dance" documentary focusing on the 1990s Chicago Bulls and Jordan. The documentary was co-produced by Jordan's production company "Jump 23." Throughout his storytelling, several players endured a poor image from the documentary, including Pippen.

It's well-documented that the 10-part series wouldn't have been released without Jordan's permission first. This meant Jordan had full creative control of the documentary. Several instances, including Pippen's decision to hold off surgery on his ankle during the summer of 1997, made him look weak.

“I don't think it was that accurate in terms of really defining what was accomplished in one of the greatest eras of basketball, but also by two of the greatest players – and one could even put that aside and say the greatest team of all time,” Pippen told The Guardian.

“I didn't think those things stood out in the documentary. I thought it was more about Michael trying to uplift himself and to be glorified. I think it also backfired to some degree in that people got a chance to see what kind of personality Michael had."

Unguarded Memoir

In November 2021, Pippen released his memoir titled "Unguarded."

Plenty of the book focused on Pippen's contention of "The Last Dance." He pointed out several misguided instances in the documentary while amending the story with his version.

"Each episode was the same: Michael on a pedestal, his teammates secondary, smaller, the message no different from when he referred to us back then as his ‘supporting cast,'" Pippen wrote. "They glorified Michael Jordan while not giving nearly enough praise to me and my proud teammates.

"To make things worse, Michael received $10 million for his role in the doc while my teammates and I didn’t earn a dime, another reminder of the pecking order from the old days. For an entire season, we allowed cameras into the sanctity of our locker rooms, our practices, our hotels, our huddles … our lives," Pippen wrote.

Marcus Jordan and Larsa Pippen

In December 2021, Pippen finalized his divorce from "Real Housewives of Miami" star, Larsa Pippen. Nearly one year later, in September 2022, Pippen's ex-wife and Jordan's son, Marcus, started dating.

Larsa, 49, and Marcus, 32, addressed the awkwardness of their romance on a podcast in November 2023.

"It's awkward," Larsa said on the "Pablo Torre Finds Out" podcast." "It's weird. I get it. But to us, it's not weird ... It’s probably weird to the world because our last names are known to basketball history ... I know aesthetically it probably doesn't look good."

When consulting his dad about the relationship, Marcus said Jordan was laissez-faire about the whole situation.

"[Jordan] was like, 'You're a grown ass man. You can make your own decisions,'" Marcus said. "Ultimately, as long as I'm happy, he's happy. He's never intervened in my dating life prior to Larsa, so he's not going to start now."

In November, Marcus confirmed a wedding is in the works for him and Larsa.

"It's in the works," Marcus said to E! News. "I don't think we have, like, a date. We're still talking about locations and party size and all of that stuff. So it's not really concrete yet. But it'll happen."

What does he have to say to people who doubt the sincerity of his relationship with Larsa?

"F--- 'em," Marcus said. "That's kind of my mentality. I just feel like we complement each other in so many different ways. She's having a good day, I'm there to support her and vice versa. I feel like we're living in our truth and anybody that isn't happy about it can piss off."

Pippen calls Jordan a "horrible basketball player"

In May 2023, Pippen joined Stacey King's "Gimme the Hot Sauce!" podcast to chat with his former teammate.

"I've seen Michael Jordan play before I came to the Bulls. You guys have seen him play. He was a horrible player," Pippen said. "He was horrible to play with. It was all 1-on-1, shooting bad shots. All of a sudden, we become a team and we start winning. Everybody forgot who he was. He was a player who was really not at the top of his category."

Pippen also said in the interview he didn't believe his relationship with Jordan or Phil Jackson could be amended.

Ring of Honor ceremony

The Bulls will host a special halftime celebration and ceremony for the event. Each member will receive a special trophy designed by Victor Solomon, the artist who crafted the updates to the Larry O'Brien trophy and five other postseason trophies.

As aforementioned, Jordan and Pippen are not expected to return to the United Center. But what could Jordan's message to the fans entail? Tune in on NBC Sports Chicago on Friday to watch the entire ceremony.

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