Archive: Bulls Coach Phil Jackson on Scottie Pippen’s 1.8-Second Strike


By all accounts, ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance” is a hit.

Millions of viewers are tuning in every Sunday to see the latest in the saga of Michael Jordan and the champion Bulls of the 1990s. 

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In episode 7, released Sunday along with episode 8, filmmakers told the story of Scottie Pippen and his now-famous refusal to take the court in the final 1.8 seconds of a 1994 playoff game with the New York Knicks. 

Michael Jordan had retired, and Pippen was the team’s star player. The game was tied, but coach Phil Jackson designed the last-second play for rookie Toni Kukoc to take the shot with an assist from Pippen, who refused because he wanted to take the shot himself.

In the end, Kukoc made an off-balance jumper to win the game, but there was no jubilation from Jackson, who saw the potentially devastating consequences of Pippen’s protest on team chemistry. 

In 1995, Jackson joined “Chicago Tonight” host John Callaway, and recounted the incident in great detail. 


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