My Rating of “Unguarded” by Scottie Pippen: 7 / 10
Since its release, Unguarded has created a lot of controversy in the world of basketball. Scottie Pippen, one of the quieter achievers and second fiddle to Michael Jordan while at the Chicago Bulls has his days in court by writing a book from his perspective. Many analysts, journalists and former players have weighed in on the book. There has been harsh criticism for sure, however after reading it the criticism and praise from Pippen was more balanced than reported in the press.
The problem for Scottie Pippen was that he was hard done by overall throughout most of his career. Sure he has many accolades (e.g. 6 x championship rings, 2 x Olympic Gold Medals etc.) yet he never felt valued as a player from a monetary perspective. He was also in Jordan’s shadow. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the airing of The Last Dance. For those that don’t know, it was produced by one of Michael Jordan’s companies which meant it had a certain angle which didn’t shine Scottie Pippen in the best light.
The book itself starts off with extremely harsh criticism of Jordan, the Bulls management team and a few other people. Once Pippen gets this out of the way he begins his story as a young aspiring sports player chronicling his way through his journey as an NBA player. It isn’t a long read, nor is it one of the best books I’ve read. I felt Pippen just wanted to get a lot of frustrations off his chest and be done with it. If you read it from that perspective then you understand why he wrote Unguarded.
Three key takeaways from the book:
- There are always two sides of the story. Jordan has repeatedly told his over the years. In it has been reported that Jordan is getting paid anywhere from $3 - 10m for the The Last Dance.
- You need to speak up. Don’t wait decades after the incident to air your grievances. Always speak up in the present.
- Never burn your bridges. Whether Pippen cares or not, he has burned a lot of bridges by writing this book.