By: Keith Nelson Jr (@JusAire)
"Little Brother Complex"
A psychological phenomena in which one person or group feels inferior to another person or group meant to be support. The phenomena also consists of the "little brother" paradoxically predicating all advancements on besting the "big brother".
I made that definition up. I based it on Scottie Pippen.
Scottie Pippen was born over 2 years before and 1300 miles away from Michael Jordan (to two different parents). He also was the youngest of 13 children who lived in a cramped two bedroom apartment. But, for all intents and purposes (and justification for his Hall of Fame induction) he was Jordan's little brother in every sense of the term.
Even in the only full season of Scottie Pippen being the leader of the Bulls without Michael Jordan, Pippen earned $3 million from his Bulls contract. He was the 2nd highest paid player on the team that year. Who was #1 at $4 million?
Their bond breached all sorts of normal comfort thresholds. No...seriously. In Sam Smith's legendary expose of the 1990-1991 Chicago Bulls championship season The Jordan Rules, Smith accused Jordan, Pippen and Horrace Grant of discussing whose infant sons had the bigger penises:
Then in a May 1992 Playboy interview, Jordan admitted to it and described it as "kidding" in a manner where he assumed it was 1. an acceptable topic and 2. common enough that anyone should be able to detect the humor:
Sometimes events play out as if they were scripted. Whether you believe Scottie Pippen and the '93-'94 Chicago Bulls were reaping the benefits of karmic reparations (or they were just THAT good) but the Bulls were not that much worse without Jordan. Actually, as defensively masterful as Jordan was, the '93-'94 Chicago Bulls team was the first Bulls team to hold opponents under 95 points per game for a full season.
While the Bulls were dismantling the Cavs in the playoffs to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the man who once ensured that was going through it. Less than three weeks ago Jordan made his unspectacular debut as a Birmingham Baron on April 9th, 1994, going 0 for 4. Afterwards he revealed that he felt something that ,when taken into account what type of person Michael Jordan is, becomes a huge indication of his changing identity:
I just lost confidence at the plate yesterday. I didn't feel comfortable. I don't remember the last time I felt that way in an athletic situation. You come to realize that you're no better than the next guy in here.
Earlier in the interview he says he still talked to his father but "more in the subconscious than actual words." What was one of the things his father we tell him even from the grave and in the dark recesses of Jordan's cagey mind? "Don't give a damn about the media.' "
Over in Bulls land, Scottie Pippen was attempting to keep the Bulls from being eliminated from the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals after falling down 0-2 in the best-of-seven series. After going up by as much as 22 in the third quarter of Game 3, the Bulls squandered the lead and with 1.8 seconds left in the game, Ewing hit the softest of hook shots to tie the game at 102-102.
After returning to Chicago Stadium and winning Game 4, the Bulls lost Game 5 back in Madison Square Garden after a controversial foul call on Scottie Pippen. Pippen was called for a foul on Knicks shooting guard Hubert Davis with 2.1 seconds left on the game and after Davis made the pair of free throws the Bulls never got another shot off.
Everyone was watching. Yes, EVERYONE:
10:00 P.M. EST:
10:25 P.M. EST:
12:00 A.M. EST:
NOOOOO WAYY!! SCOTTIE PIPPEN WAS A QUIET ASSASSIN WHO WOULD NEVER SPEAK ILL OF MICHAEL JORDAN IN PUBLIC. WHY WOULD HE?!!
Because Scottie Pippen was "tired of this." That's what ESPN reporter Andrea Kramer stated she overheard Pippen say during the final huddle of Game 3 before he opt to sit out the Kukoc game winner.
Tired of what?
Tired of the Bulls once again choosing Kukoc over him? The same 25 year old rookie the Bulls' General Manager Jerry Krause allegedly used as a reasoning as to his stalling of renegotiating Pippen's rookie $750,000 contract in 1990, as to keep enough cap space to sign the Croatian star playing overseas?
Or was Pippen tired of being critiqued once again by a man who tried to convince the Bulls to not pick him in the 1987 NBA Draft? The same man whom three years and the NBA's most famous migraine after that fact tried to get him traded.
But why would he voice it?
Well, around that time Pippen was not the best at concealing his intentions or even keeping track of them. On January 20th, 1994, hours after beating the Washington Bullets at home, he was arrested for leaving his loaded .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun "between the front seat and console".
The bitter irony of it all is that Jordan experienced a career-defining moment similar to Pippen's. During a Bulls practice session in the Fall of 1995 (during Jordan's comeback season), Steve Kerr punched Michael Jordan square in the chin for being a dick. Think I'm being too harsh on Jordan? Well, according to Jordan in Phil Jackson's 2013 Eleven Rings book, I'm dead on:
It made me look at myself, and say, ‘You know what? You’re really being an idiot about this whole process,
That Michael Jordan tweet to Pippen about the Bulls (and basically Pippen himself) needing him would have been the punch to reality Pippen would need to lead the Bulls to their fourth consecutive NBA Finals trip (they lost Game 7 to the Knicks in real 1994).
How do I know this?
Because the very next game, the FINAL game at Chicago Stadium (and subsequently days after his heated Twitter exchange with Michael Jordan) Scottie Pippen unleashed the single greatest play of his career and the lasting image anyone will have when they think of one of the 50 greatest players to ever play the game:
Michael Jackson Would Have Helped Start Michael Jordan's Rap Career
On September 14th, 1993 Michael Jackson was accused by Evan Chandler of sexually molesting his 13 year old son, Jordan Chandler. On November 12th, Jackson ended his Dangerous World Tour citing “addiction to pain killers” he developed after burning his scalp in a Pepsi commercial back in 1984. Days after, PepsiCo ended their ten year endorsement with Michael Jackson. December 9th, his sister Latoya Jackson told reporters that Jackson not only molested children but had been doing so “since 1981.” On December 20th, Michael Jackson was strip searched for approximately 25 minutes in order to verify Jordan Chandler’s description of Jackson’s genitals. On January 24th, 1994, the case was settled out of court for approximately $10 million by Jackson’s insurance company“ over the protests of Mr. Jackson and his personal legal counsel.”
During that time Michael Jordan was dealing with gambling accusations, his father had died, he had retired and was preparing to tell the world that he was going to play baseball in 1994. Summer of 1993, the two most recognizable African American entertainers in the world had their established images drastically changed and tested in a manner they never were have were never since.
On September 10th, 1994, Michael Jordan played his first public basketball game at Scottie Pippen's Ameritech All-Star Classic, which first inspired him to make his return to the NBA six months later. This game came a month after accusations arose that his father in fact faked his death to avoid a potential paternity suit and debt. If there was Twitter In The 90s, Jordan would have not even been invited to play in that game. A game which involved a Horrace Grant and Pippen, two men Jordan had engaged in Twitter wars less than three months apart.
Less than two weeks after the exhibition game on September 22nd, the District Attorneys for Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Counties decided to not proceed with the molestation case after the victim refused to testify in court. That was also the month Michael Jackson began recording what would become his redemption album lyrically, HIStory.
There's one other person Jackson knew was in the middle of a desperate redemption phase.
MICHAEL JORDAN WORKS ON HIS DEBUT RAP ALBUM AND TUPAC FORCES MICHAEL JORDAN TO GO BACK TO THE NBA IN THE LAST PART OF THIS EPISODE OF...