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Unguarded

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An unflinching memoir from the six-time NBA Champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and Hall of Famer—revealing how Scottie Pippen, the youngest of twelve, overcame two family tragedies and universal disregard by college scouts to become an essential component of the greatest basketball dynasty of the last fifty years. Scottie Pippen has been called one of the greatest N An unflinching memoir from the six-time NBA Champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and Hall of Famer—revealing how Scottie Pippen, the youngest of twelve, overcame two family tragedies and universal disregard by college scouts to become an essential component of the greatest basketball dynasty of the last fifty years. Scottie Pippen has been called one of the greatest NBA players for good reason. Simply put, without Pippen, there are no championship banners—let alone six—hanging from the United Center rafters. There’s no Last Dance documentary. There’s no “Michael Jordan” as we know him. The 1990s Chicago Bulls teams would not exist as we know them. So how did the youngest of twelve go from growing up poor in the small town of Hamburg, Arkansas, enduring two family tragedies along the way, to become a revered NBA legend? How did the scrawny teen, overlooked by every major collegiate basketball program, go on to become the fifth overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft? And, perhaps most compelling, how did Pippen set aside his ego (and his own limitless professional ceiling) in order for the Bulls to become the most dominant basketball dynasty of the last half century? In Unguarded, the soft-spoken, six-time champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist finally opens up to offer pointed and transparent takes on Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, and Isiah Thomas, among others. Pippen details how he cringed at being labeled Jordan’s sidekick, and discusses how he could have (and should have) received more respect from the Bulls’ management and the media. Pippen reveals never-before-told stories about some of the most famous games in league history, including the 1994 playoff game against the New York Knicks when he took himself out with 1.8 seconds to go. He discusses what it was like dealing with Jordan on a day-to-day basis, while serving as the real leader within the Bulls locker room. On the 30th anniversary of the Bulls’ first championship, Pippen is finally giving millions of adoring basketball fans what they crave; a raw, unvarnished look into his life, and role within one of the greatest, most popular teams of all time.


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An unflinching memoir from the six-time NBA Champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and Hall of Famer—revealing how Scottie Pippen, the youngest of twelve, overcame two family tragedies and universal disregard by college scouts to become an essential component of the greatest basketball dynasty of the last fifty years. Scottie Pippen has been called one of the greatest N An unflinching memoir from the six-time NBA Champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and Hall of Famer—revealing how Scottie Pippen, the youngest of twelve, overcame two family tragedies and universal disregard by college scouts to become an essential component of the greatest basketball dynasty of the last fifty years. Scottie Pippen has been called one of the greatest NBA players for good reason. Simply put, without Pippen, there are no championship banners—let alone six—hanging from the United Center rafters. There’s no Last Dance documentary. There’s no “Michael Jordan” as we know him. The 1990s Chicago Bulls teams would not exist as we know them. So how did the youngest of twelve go from growing up poor in the small town of Hamburg, Arkansas, enduring two family tragedies along the way, to become a revered NBA legend? How did the scrawny teen, overlooked by every major collegiate basketball program, go on to become the fifth overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft? And, perhaps most compelling, how did Pippen set aside his ego (and his own limitless professional ceiling) in order for the Bulls to become the most dominant basketball dynasty of the last half century? In Unguarded, the soft-spoken, six-time champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist finally opens up to offer pointed and transparent takes on Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, and Isiah Thomas, among others. Pippen details how he cringed at being labeled Jordan’s sidekick, and discusses how he could have (and should have) received more respect from the Bulls’ management and the media. Pippen reveals never-before-told stories about some of the most famous games in league history, including the 1994 playoff game against the New York Knicks when he took himself out with 1.8 seconds to go. He discusses what it was like dealing with Jordan on a day-to-day basis, while serving as the real leader within the Bulls locker room. On the 30th anniversary of the Bulls’ first championship, Pippen is finally giving millions of adoring basketball fans what they crave; a raw, unvarnished look into his life, and role within one of the greatest, most popular teams of all time.

30 review for Unguarded

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brandice

    I was a die-hard Michael Jordan fan growing up and while he was by far my favorite player, I liked Scottie Pippen too. Pippen was a huge asset to the Bulls in the 1990s and more often than not, a good example of a team player. I agree that his portray in The Last Dance docuseries on Netflix was often less than favorable. I respect everyone’s right to tell their own story — MJ and Pippen included — but unfortunately, Unguarded left me feeling letdown. Pippen comes off as bitter and harboring I was a die-hard Michael Jordan fan growing up and while he was by far my favorite player, I liked Scottie Pippen too. Pippen was a huge asset to the Bulls in the 1990s and more often than not, a good example of a team player. I agree that his portray in The Last Dance docuseries on Netflix was often less than favorable. I respect everyone’s right to tell their own story — MJ and Pippen included — but unfortunately, Unguarded left me feeling letdown. Pippen comes off as bitter and harboring deep resentment for the majority of the book. I can imagine it’d be tough to be “in the shadows” of MJ for so many years but there’s also an opportunity to recognize the privilege in playing with one of the world’s most elite athletes ever. Basketball is a team sport. Superstar athletes can, and often do, bring it home for their teams but they can’t do it alone forever. The second Bulls three-peat of the 90s would not have been possible without Jordan, Pippen, or Rodman — They know the work they each put in. While I admire the player Pippen was, as well as his deep love for his family, evident throughout the book, Unguarded did not leave me with a great impression of him. He reiterates that he and MJ weren’t ever that close and that he regrets not reaching out to him after his father’s death. Frankly, I feel like if he really wanted to, he’s had plenty of time to do so over the last 30 years. It was fun to read some of the highlights from the 90s games during the Bulls dynasty, which I would say is the best aspect of Unguarded — 2.5 stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Corban Ford

    Man, this was tough. I respect Scottie Pippen's career and I feel that he definitely deserves more credit than he has received in "The Last Dance" and other Chicago Bulls-centric retrospectives but man.... resentment and bitterness permeate this entire book. Pippen spends most of it talking about how important HE was to the team and success, except for when it comes to acknowledging his shortfalls or giving more than just the passing credit to MJ. Pippen argues that for all the time Jordan was b Man, this was tough. I respect Scottie Pippen's career and I feel that he definitely deserves more credit than he has received in "The Last Dance" and other Chicago Bulls-centric retrospectives but man.... resentment and bitterness permeate this entire book. Pippen spends most of it talking about how important HE was to the team and success, except for when it comes to acknowledging his shortfalls or giving more than just the passing credit to MJ. Pippen argues that for all the time Jordan was brought up for how good the Bulls were, that the team as a whole should have gotten that respect as well, and I certainly get that. The issue I have is that Pippen does THE EXACT SAME THING HERE, electing to place himself more solely as the reason that things came together than to promote the team as a unit. This was a disappointing read considering the hype, but I will say that Scottie dug deep and brought you back to those teams, players, and games that made you fall in love with the 90's Bulls in the first place.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ken Heard

    Scottie Pippen's negativity toward Michael Jordan and The Last Dance documentary has been taken out of context when blasted across the media. The attention is one reason why I decided to read the book. I wasn't a big Chicago Bulls fan and never worshipped at the altar of MJ during his reign. I live in Arkansas and remember when Pippen played at the University of Central Arkansas, but because he ended up with the Bulls, I still wasn't a fan. That said, I wanted to see if Pippen was as much a cryba Scottie Pippen's negativity toward Michael Jordan and The Last Dance documentary has been taken out of context when blasted across the media. The attention is one reason why I decided to read the book. I wasn't a big Chicago Bulls fan and never worshipped at the altar of MJ during his reign. I live in Arkansas and remember when Pippen played at the University of Central Arkansas, but because he ended up with the Bulls, I still wasn't a fan. That said, I wanted to see if Pippen was as much a crybaby as others thought. He wasn't. Instead, he complained about things rightfully wronged to him. Jerry Krause's inability to compensate him during his tenure there, Jordan's me-me attitude during the seasons and the apparent love of Toni Kukoc were all discussed... fairly. Pippen also talks about his infamous 1.8 seconds of not going into a game to pass the ball to Kukoc. That hangs over him like a dark cloud. If Pippen went to a team besides the Bulls during his prime, he would have been the team leader and a star on his own, rather than a Jordan shadow. Pippen was also able to blame himself for mistakes and he realized, looking back, at things he did that he thought were wrong. So, the hype about the book, about Pippen being whiney about it all, is not accurate. I thought the game recaps of the Bulls dynasty were great. Again, he notes when he has a bad game and blames himself, rather than whine about Jordan getting the ball all the time. After reading this, I felt more in favor of Pippen than I felt during that 1990s Bulls teams. I wish I knew more of him back then so I'd see how amazing a player he really was.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Fabio Speranza

    let's be clear! i really don't like the way Scottie market this book. Too much bitterness and resentment. I think we can not allow every time someone is going to write a (auto)biography to use some BS about someone else. Especially in the sports world this happen too many times. "but it's the only way to have success and to sell the book!" NO it's NOT. Andre Agassi didn't talk sh*t about anybody (except himself) and he gave us one of the best autobiography in the history of the sports world. (AN let's be clear! i really don't like the way Scottie market this book. Too much bitterness and resentment. I think we can not allow every time someone is going to write a (auto)biography to use some BS about someone else. Especially in the sports world this happen too many times. "but it's the only way to have success and to sell the book!" NO it's NOT. Andre Agassi didn't talk sh*t about anybody (except himself) and he gave us one of the best autobiography in the history of the sports world. (AND it sold so well!). So the Scottie Pippen marketing choice takes ONE star. Let's talk about the book... is it any good? quite... i mean, you can feel the resentment in the book towards: 1. Michael Jordan who did NOTHING against Pippen (i am not the one who says that...it's Scottie in his book, there is absolutely nothing MJ did to him) 2. Jerry Krauss, who discovered Pippen and helped to take 20 (!) million dollar more from Houston Rockets when he left the Bulls in 1999 and who was NOT the one who have the final decision about payment and contract (it's Scottie to say so in one of the finals chapters) 3. Phil Jackson, who Scottie says "disrespect him giving the last shot to Tony Kukoc instead of him in the 1994 playoff against the Knicks"... maybe Scotti here is right?! NOT AT ALL... he himself tells us in HIS book that he NEVER scored a Buzzer Beater even in high school games, even worse he tells us TWICE he missed an OPEN dunk (and ONE lay up) to close an important game with college or high school (i don't remember which). AND EVEN EVEN WORSE he tells us he missed a lot of important free throws in final moments of important games with Bulls... SOOOO He, Michael, Phil AND everyone who read his book now, know exactly WHY Phil Jackson gave Tony Kukoc (an A-buzzer beater player) that last shot. So, i love the Scottie Pippen player (almost as much as Jordan) but his sensitiveness and grudge tried to ruin the wonderful memory we have of the best dynasty in the Basket history (and maybe more). Finally his family story is great, i love everything about it, i wish he talked a bit more of that and about what he felt in those years and NOT about how he feels NOW about those years. Let's GO BULLS!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (Simply Kelina) C.

    3.5 Stars I have always been a fan of the Bulls, especially Pippen and Jordan. If you were worried about reading this based on the pre-release press, I recommend still giving it a try. There is a lot of context around what came out for the release of this book. It was not as it was made out to be. I did like leaning a little more around Scottie and his family. I did not know all of the information around his childhood. I would have liked more of this than recapping his stats. Scottie talked more ar 3.5 Stars I have always been a fan of the Bulls, especially Pippen and Jordan. If you were worried about reading this based on the pre-release press, I recommend still giving it a try. There is a lot of context around what came out for the release of this book. It was not as it was made out to be. I did like leaning a little more around Scottie and his family. I did not know all of the information around his childhood. I would have liked more of this than recapping his stats. Scottie talked more around his stats and previous games. Talking about previous games was fine, but he did not add anything into these conversations that many would not already know. I would have liked a little more around himself. There were some tidbits thrown in that I was not aware of though and I enjoyed those parts. There is a lot of talk around previous players and teammates. I am happy that I know who all these players were/are as it made it more interesting to read. I was expecting much more bashing around Michael Jordan. However; most of his stories actually contradicted many of his negative statements around Jordan that you may have seen in the media. It was a little confusing and again, I think, a way to gain interest in reading his story for the release. As the stories continued, the more he talked positively around MJ, his relationship with him, and what he did for the game. He maintained that they were not super close, but had a friendship. It was just not as others perceived or as strong as others thought it would be. Overall, I enjoyed this for what it was and the nostalgia that it brought around my favorite time in the NBA. It was much more game by game recapping than anything though. If you are a fan of Scottie Pippen or the 90’s Bulls, I think you will like it. It is not the drama that it appeared it was going to be and I was happy about that.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Adam Moss

    This book was a fun blast to the past reliving the glory days of the Bulls from my teenage years. But pippen’s tone is so whiny that bit became difficult to finish the book. He is an amazing player and had an incredible HOF career . His story of growing up and family is truly inspiring . It’s too bad he felt he had to defend his legacy by writing a book with such a bitter tone. He comes across as a grumpy old man—and I think he is better than that . If anything this book actually tarnishes his l This book was a fun blast to the past reliving the glory days of the Bulls from my teenage years. But pippen’s tone is so whiny that bit became difficult to finish the book. He is an amazing player and had an incredible HOF career . His story of growing up and family is truly inspiring . It’s too bad he felt he had to defend his legacy by writing a book with such a bitter tone. He comes across as a grumpy old man—and I think he is better than that . If anything this book actually tarnishes his legacy rather than burnishing it. And that’s a shame. Number 33 was the best all around player on a dynasty. His body of work speaks as is for itself as one of the most gifted players, ever.

  7. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    A chronicle of Pippen’s basketball life, but also a rebuttal to “The Last Dance” docuseries. He has some not-so-nice things to say about MJ, and the Bulls organization in particular. It was a bit uncomfortable, but felt honest. His prime was back when I actually watched NBA, so major nostalgia. Lots of game recaps and stats. Fun fact: A friend of mine, who is a Nashville makeup artist, did Pippen’s grooming/makeup for this cover shoot. 🤩

  8. 5 out of 5

    Darcy

    I remember when the Bulls were on fire in the 90's, it was all Michael Jordon/Scottie Pippen all the time. When the Last Dance came out I heard about how Scottie wasn't happy with things, so when this popped up on my library's website I thought I'd give it a try. I think part of what he says is probably true, part is probably sour grapes. The one thing we know is that he was a great basketball player on a team when things were really good for them, something so many would kill for. I hope at some I remember when the Bulls were on fire in the 90's, it was all Michael Jordon/Scottie Pippen all the time. When the Last Dance came out I heard about how Scottie wasn't happy with things, so when this popped up on my library's website I thought I'd give it a try. I think part of what he says is probably true, part is probably sour grapes. The one thing we know is that he was a great basketball player on a team when things were really good for them, something so many would kill for. I hope at some point he can find the peace he is looking for.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wesley Policky

    Its his version of the story. Some comes off as whiny and jealous - other parts seem genuine and grateful. I could not put it down, so the story is good. I just sit in the camp of Jordan is the greatest I've watched and Scottie was awesome as well, just not Jordan and that should be good enough. Sometimes it feels as though for Pippen, it was not. Again, not my story - so I am grateful to hear his side. Its his version of the story. Some comes off as whiny and jealous - other parts seem genuine and grateful. I could not put it down, so the story is good. I just sit in the camp of Jordan is the greatest I've watched and Scottie was awesome as well, just not Jordan and that should be good enough. Sometimes it feels as though for Pippen, it was not. Again, not my story - so I am grateful to hear his side.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Griffin

    The writing is super duper corny and the sour grapes from basically the first page to the last are enough to muddy the opinions of people who see Pippen as the soft spoken Robin to Michael’s Batman. But it’s still a must read for fans of the 90’s Bulls and all that they accomplished.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    This is probably a controversial thing to say but I feel like Unguarded is a little bit too much about… Basketball. Hear me out! Scottie Pippin describes the games, and stats, and media stories blow by blow. He offers little about what was happening behind the scenes. Most of what he talks about is already on the record, little to none new insight (or heart) is given. And he doesn’t really open up about his personal life, and the children he tried to deny and went to court for. But rah rah famil This is probably a controversial thing to say but I feel like Unguarded is a little bit too much about… Basketball. Hear me out! Scottie Pippin describes the games, and stats, and media stories blow by blow. He offers little about what was happening behind the scenes. Most of what he talks about is already on the record, little to none new insight (or heart) is given. And he doesn’t really open up about his personal life, and the children he tried to deny and went to court for. But rah rah family? So it feels like you’re just listening to someone vent and not getting to know them as a human being. In my opinion Pippin damages his image by constantly putting the ME in team. He hates Michael Jordan, he hates the Bulls, he hates that he didn’t make MORE millions. Sorry you had this terrible experience winning 6 championships, and 2 gold metals, dude. The book is catty, bitter, hypocritical and not worth the read. For example he would be like (and I paraphrase) “ Man I hate that Michael Jordan was so arrogant and self-centered, it was my talent not his that brought the team together because he wasn’t a team player, but you know who was? ME.” But then without Michael he never wins another championship, asks him to induct him into the Hall of Fame, and wants a job from him. A little respect and nostalgia for their accomplishments would’ve been a much needed balm. The powers that be should have never let him publish this. Watch The Last Dance instead. Pair with Bad Blood by Taylor Swift.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I’m going to say I read this book, but honestly I only got 35% of the way through and decided to put it down. I’ll be back to update my review if I finish it. I think Scottie Pippen is a great basketball player. I wanted to see what he had to say in response to the Netflix documentary The Last Dance as well as learn about his life. The scathing Prologue drew me in and I enjoyed the first few autobiographical chapters learning about his childhood, family, family tragedies, his relationship to bas I’m going to say I read this book, but honestly I only got 35% of the way through and decided to put it down. I’ll be back to update my review if I finish it. I think Scottie Pippen is a great basketball player. I wanted to see what he had to say in response to the Netflix documentary The Last Dance as well as learn about his life. The scathing Prologue drew me in and I enjoyed the first few autobiographical chapters learning about his childhood, family, family tragedies, his relationship to basketball and his rise to the NBA. I dropped it when there were long passages that went on about specific game details like how many points, rebounds, steals, etc. he and his teammates and opponents racked up.

  13. 5 out of 5

    WM D.

    UNGUARDED by Scottie PIPPIN was a good book. At first I am not a fan of sports books but this book opened my eyes to the real person Scottie pippin was. He started out helping his brother and his dad . He made his way through the NBA and eventually retiring. A must read for anyone who likes non fiction

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chalupa Batman

    Being from Chicago and being fortunate enough to live to watch the 90’s Bulls play, I was a little hesitant with this book once I heard some publicity about it. Pippin has always been such a great Basketball player but he’s always been a bitter person. To be honest, he sounded like a little whiney bitch in this book. He sounds very petty and pretty much wrote this book to a) make money and b) trying to settle a score that he built inside his head. Wasn’t sure what to expect but it really was a b Being from Chicago and being fortunate enough to live to watch the 90’s Bulls play, I was a little hesitant with this book once I heard some publicity about it. Pippin has always been such a great Basketball player but he’s always been a bitter person. To be honest, he sounded like a little whiney bitch in this book. He sounds very petty and pretty much wrote this book to a) make money and b) trying to settle a score that he built inside his head. Wasn’t sure what to expect but it really was a bit of a disappointment.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Biernacki

    Good book. Talked about his story and how he got drafted. Also talked about his successful career in the NBA. Very much like the "Last Dance", but he criticized Jordan instead of praising him. Good book. Talked about his story and how he got drafted. Also talked about his successful career in the NBA. Very much like the "Last Dance", but he criticized Jordan instead of praising him.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Jon

    I enjoyed it. Written at a very basic and often conversational English and didn’t really provide much new information but I enjoyed it

  17. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne L. L. Edwards

    Although I appreciate his transparency, Scottie needs to let things go. He complained all through the book. He showed unforgiveness for EVERYONE that has ever hurt him. He strives to tell his accolades, which the sports world already knows. No need to self-validate. Just not a good read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    LeeTravelGoddess

    I loved this book— no matter what, you have to tell your story… from YOUR PERSPECTIVE. I learned so much more about Pip from Pip and I am glad he opens up to bless us with this self assessment. It’s a tops for me!!! 💚💚💚

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steven Neal

    The man had a lot to say and he doesn't mince words. Some of it felt repetitive and a wee bit dramatic, but other parts were candid and revealing. There's an argument, and he surely makes it, that he's the most under-rated-under-appreciated basketball player of all time. The man had a lot to say and he doesn't mince words. Some of it felt repetitive and a wee bit dramatic, but other parts were candid and revealing. There's an argument, and he surely makes it, that he's the most under-rated-under-appreciated basketball player of all time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bill Pence

    Scottie Pippen is one of the greatest players in the history of the National Basketball Association. He is a six-time world champion with the Chicago Bulls and a member of the Hall of Fame. He also won two Gold Medals as a member of the U.S. Olympic Basketball team. I, along with my family, was blessed to see the Bulls play in person many times during their incredible run, even though tickets were incredibly hard to get. It was a very special time in sports, one that I doubt I will ever see agai Scottie Pippen is one of the greatest players in the history of the National Basketball Association. He is a six-time world champion with the Chicago Bulls and a member of the Hall of Fame. He also won two Gold Medals as a member of the U.S. Olympic Basketball team. I, along with my family, was blessed to see the Bulls play in person many times during their incredible run, even though tickets were incredibly hard to get. It was a very special time in sports, one that I doubt I will ever see again. Until now, Pippen has not written his autobiography, though his career was certainly worthy of one. After watching the acclaimed 2020 ESPN documentary The Last Dance, (for which teammate Michael Jordan was paid $10 million and no other Bull was paid anything), Pippen decided it was time to tell his story. He writes that there is a great deal in the ESPN documentary that has no business being in there, and also that a great deal that should be in has been left out. Pippen writes that the documentary failed to give his Hall of Fame career the treatment it deserves. He states that The Last Dance was Jordan’s chance to tell his story, and Unguarded is Pippen’s. There is no doubt that there were a few instances in Pippen’s time with the Bulls that made him look bad in the documentary (In particular, his infamous failure to take the floor with 1.8 seconds to go in a 1994 playoff game after Phil Jackson called the final play for a teammate, rather than Pippen, to get the final shot (something he would never forgive Jackson for, writing that their relationship would never be the same no matter what triumphs would lie ahead. The moment of truth had come, and Jackson had abandoned him), and intentionally delaying a needed surgery in 1997 to get back at Bulls’ leadership, which put a strain on Jordan to carry the team without Pippen in their final season). Unfortunately, for Pippen, those incidents took actually did take place. Although I enjoyed reliving Pippen’s incredible career, I don’t think he has done his legacy any favors with this book. Throughout the book, he is critical of many players, coaches, and Bulls’ team leadership, with Jordan often taking the brunt of the criticism (though Pippen chose Jordan as his official presenter when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame). Below are a few quotes that illustrate this: • I was a much better teammate than Michael ever was. Ask anyone who played with the two of us. • There’s no doubt in my mind I was superior to Michael in both individual and team defense. Even before he retired, I had come to the conclusion that I was our best all-around player. • My biggest complaint was how much Doug (Collins) was in love with Michael. He was more of a fan than a coach. With Doug, it always came down to the double standard he set: one set of rules for Michael, one for everyone else. • I never got the sense Phil (Jackson) believed in me. Not the way he believed in Michael. • I realize now that plenty of times when Michael and I were critical of Jerry Krause (General Manager), we should probably have pointed the blame at Jerry Reinsdorf (Owner). • We’re still not one big happy family, and that’s on the Bulls. They have done very little to honor any of the other five championship teams, including the 1995–96 group that won 72 games. They act as if those teams never existed. Pippen writes lovingly about his family. He was in eighth grade when his father suffered a stroke. He tells us that from then on, he could never be the father Pippen needed him to be or show him what is required to be a man—a black man, especially, in a white world. Pippen writes that the Lord is a powerful presence in his life today, and that’s because of his mother, who died just a few years ago. Despite indicating that the Lord is a powerful presence of his life, he is unrepentant of putting his career ahead of his marriage and young son. He writes shockingly “That meant letting go of Karen, who had become my wife, and a son, Antron, who was born that past November. I just didn’t have the time to be a good husband or a good father, and the sooner she and I realized that, the better. The divorce would become final in 1990. I made a commitment to another family, my teammates. For which I have no regrets.” Pippen would later get remarried and they would have four additional children. Sadly, Antron died not long ago from complications related to asthma at the age of thirty-three. Pippen writes about racism, indicating that no matter how many championships he has won, he never forgets the color of his skin, and that some people hate him just because of that. Regarding another incident, he writes that it was another reminder of the racism that was rampant in Chicago and still is. Pippen writes throughout how much he was disrespected by the Bulls regarding his contract, mentioning that he was severely underpaid. Repeatedly, he demanded that the Bulls (and later the Houston Rockets) trade him. After leaving the Bulls, Pippen would play for Houston and Portland, before finishing his career back with the Bulls. This book, which includes some adult language, was a mixed bag for me. I very much enjoyed reliving the glory years of the Bulls in the 1990’s when they won 6 NBA Championships, and once again appreciated the excellent player Pippen was. Unfortunately, I was turned off by all of the negative aspects he brings to his story. He often comes off as bitter and jealous of Michael Jordan.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paweł Labe

    3.5 / 5 I was 10 years old when I saw a summary of the NBA game on Polish tv. It was my first contact with basketball and I remember exactly what I saw on the screen. It was a fast break that ended with a dunk. The player was an unknown to me Scottie Pippen. 27 years later (and lots and lots of hours with me with a ball in my hands after that) I have a chance to read Scottie's memoirs. It's only December 12th, 12 days until Christmas, but for me it's time to celebrate. I would like to say that the 3.5 / 5 I was 10 years old when I saw a summary of the NBA game on Polish tv. It was my first contact with basketball and I remember exactly what I saw on the screen. It was a fast break that ended with a dunk. The player was an unknown to me Scottie Pippen. 27 years later (and lots and lots of hours with me with a ball in my hands after that) I have a chance to read Scottie's memoirs. It's only December 12th, 12 days until Christmas, but for me it's time to celebrate. I would like to say that the book is shockingly good. That it's at least half as good as Pippen's game in the time spent with the Bulls. Indeed, it is nice. It's ok. Nevertheless, I was hopeing for much more: more details, more things "from the locker room", more minor situations that cannot be seen in the wide view on the tv screen. Pippen describes things every basketball fan is sure to know: Bulls major games (flu game, Pacers series, Knicks series, Mailman doesn't deliver on Sundays, last 2 seconds and last shot made by Kukoc etc.). He recalls how he thought he was underpaid. He remembers his teammates, not only MJ and praises team work over iso game. Nevertheless, these are not things that we would not know. At the end of the book, in a "thank you" note, he mentions assistant coach Tex Winter, who was said to be one of his most die-hard critics, but at the same time he made Pippen a great player. I'd like to know what Tex accused Scottie. Especially that Bulls started to be successful almost immediately after Pippen appeared in the line-up. Pippen was the most versatile player on both sides of the court, selected as one of the top 50 players in the history of the league. I would like to know what they argued about. Who was right. What were the arguments. What did Phil Jackson think? I am not interested in taking out the "dirt" of the past, but I assume that you can tell in a cultural and non-offensive way in detail about the disputes between professionals on the way to winning 6 championship titles. This situation is just an example, I think that there are many topics that can be discussed in detail in the book. Instead, the Bulls' 5th championship season is described ... halfway through the page. It starts and we go straight to the NBA Finals. Same for the season with the Houston Rockets. A few general sentences about Barkley and the attack promoted by Rudy T, where Pippen was only supposed to pass the ball to the tall players. There is not even a single sentence about cooperation/relationships with perhaps the best center in history, Hakeem Olajuwon. And so on and so forth. How it was to be on a team with Barkley (yes, I remember that SP said he was fat, but hey, guys spent 1 year together, quess IT is more to talk about). And how it was to talk to him after years (Pippen said that they are ok now). There is a lot of stats in the book - of good and bad games player by MJ,Scottie and others. But the truth is you can find stats online im seconds (or whole games on YouTube), so in my opinion the book, especially an autobiography,should concentrate on smth different than stats. I do not care that somebody shot 6/18 from the field 25 years ago,but I would like to read about cooperation between guys when cameras were off. After all, I have to be honest and cannot give a grade higher than 3/5. I have tone of sympathy for Scottie Pippen and although I do not always agree with him (oh, that pain of existence of earning only a few million dollars a year :) ). Reading that book was the return to the memories of the most beautiful basketball I have ever seen in my life and that return was quite nice. Scottie Pippen will not go into the hall of fame of world literature, but will bring back memories of basketball, which was physical, where a 3-point shoot meant something, and playing defense was as important as playing on offense. And I am thankfull for that. Although f.e. 7 seconds or less is a book I would recomend for somebody that would like to read how it is to be a player in the NBA. ESPNs Winning Time about Knicks and Pacers rivality shows emotions that come from playing basketball that can't be found in Unguarded. The Players tribute or Knuckleheads gives You more "inside stuff". And btw it is still hope for a perfect book about 90s basketball. Yes, I am talking to you, Mr Charles Oakley, fingers crossed. ;)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Thrillers R Us

    "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." Often, and falsely believed to be the motto of the US Postal Service, these paraphrased words of Herodotus engraved above the NYC PO on 8th Avenue represent more than intestinal fortitude of federal employees; it also validates Scottie Pippen and begs the reader to take him at his word: "The Mailman doesn't deliver on Sundays." Nonetheless, reader beware, a storm is h "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." Often, and falsely believed to be the motto of the US Postal Service, these paraphrased words of Herodotus engraved above the NYC PO on 8th Avenue represent more than intestinal fortitude of federal employees; it also validates Scottie Pippen and begs the reader to take him at his word: "The Mailman doesn't deliver on Sundays." Nonetheless, reader beware, a storm is headed anyone's way who cracks the spine of UNGUARDED, going hither and yon while having its way on the pages, safely away from the court of public opinion. Pip, a consummate professional and team oriented purist, authored his autobiography in response to Michael Jordan's narrative in the much publicized Netflix documentary THE LAST DANCE. UNGUARDED is Scottie Pippen's chance to tell his story. Yes, this is Scottie's story, told by Scottie. This is catharsis, not analysis. Of course the prose is going to be Scottie focused. After all, it's his story. Never big on gossip or getting overly involved in celebrities or sports personalities' lives outside of snippets glimpsed in the media, deftly avoided the above mentioned MJ docu and had no idea why exactly Scottie felt slighted. On the surface, it appeared that Scottie and MJ were the best duo since BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, but he explains it. Scottie's got plenty to say and he doesn't mince words. Deeply vested in Scottie-Vision, UNGUARDED nonetheless reminds that the difference in how people see themselves, one another, and the world is vast, but that celebrating is done the same way you win games--together. As a team. The argument here being that the Chicago Bulls were more than just Michael Jordan--teamwork makes the dream work. Resulting from the promotion of Phil Jackson from assistant coach to head coach, the Chicago Bulls finally transformed the twelve from the Michael Jordan Show into a team. When the dream worked, it worked. Scottie'll take you back to the times of Earl the Pearl Monroe, Muggsy Bogues, Mo Cheeks and the dreaded 1989 & 1990 Detroit Pistons (Bad Boys), where Nietzsche met Bill Laimbeer; thuglife defined. The Glory Days are next, revisiting the Barcelona '92 Olympics: the Dream Team, 40+ pts blowouts, playing tonk, winning Gold, and the scrimmage in Monte Carlo. The streets were paved in gold and there was no end in sight...until Number 23 called it quits. UNGUARDED turns a bit basketball-y at this point, which is okay, as it chronicles the career of a basketball player. Tagging along are also the chemistry, the caring, the sharing--the essence of Scottie; the best all-around player of the Chicago Bulls, a spotlight that at last shone bright when MJ retired in 1993. In between the ex post de facto shout casting of the Bulls's first three-peat, there're plenty of grievances that get aired. Leading the Festivus festivities is Scottie harping on and on about Magic Johnson's prediction that the Cleveland Cavaliers were gonna be the team of the nineties, but then got beat up and down the lane from 1990 onwards and wouldn't make the NBA Finals until 2007. The same attributes that will bring any team to the Finals--hard work, faith, perseverance and, of course, some luck--also forged Scottie into the player he was. Celebrating everything that is basketball and was the legendary InvinciBULLS of the 1990s, UNGUARDED will feel like comfort food for those who love the game and emetic for others. Strong on stats but weak on behind the scenes workings of the league, the franchises, the playoffs, the aura of stardom, Scottie drives home that basketball is a team sport and not an individual game. In basketball, lift is everything, and you'll come away with some insider lingo & info like the triangle, Hiawatha drills, the circle, and the sad story of prospective Boston Celtic Len Bias - a dead ringer for John Grisham's SOOLEY premise. Brimming with candor, salt, shade, and glory, Scottie's tale tells all. Everyone knows HE GOT GAME, so Scottie invites you to go one-on-one & UNGUARDED; the ball's in your court.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Cole

    I picked up this book not as a basketball or Chicago fan, but as an Arkansas history teacher and fellow University of Central Arkansas grad. As a piece of literature, it’s a decent autobiography - a couple of phrases are used too often, and it glosses over pieces of his personal life I would’ve been interested in learning more about. It sometimes doesn’t dig in deep when I wish that it would. What the book does do well is establish a good rhythm as the seasons move on, balancing big picture cont I picked up this book not as a basketball or Chicago fan, but as an Arkansas history teacher and fellow University of Central Arkansas grad. As a piece of literature, it’s a decent autobiography - a couple of phrases are used too often, and it glosses over pieces of his personal life I would’ve been interested in learning more about. It sometimes doesn’t dig in deep when I wish that it would. What the book does do well is establish a good rhythm as the seasons move on, balancing big picture context with wonderful in-game details. Overall, I’m really glad I picked it up. What others have said is true - Pippen isn’t shy about being critical of MJ and the Bulls leadership throughout the novel. From page 1, he makes no secret of that. However, the book does what Pippen said he set out to do. In the prologue, he communicates that he wished The Last Dance better celebrated the full team’s contribution, and that he never felt truly appreciated by the Bulls leadership. The story not only focuses on his experiences, but during the both play-by-plays of critical games and tension with Bulls coaches and leaders, the roles of all players are mentioned. Prior to this, my basketball knowledge stemmed from four sources: Space Jam, Kevin Durant’s 2013-2014 MVP speech acknowledging his mom, my 8th-9th grade students sitting by me at away games, and a handful of episodes of The Last Dance I sat in on while my husband was watching it. After Pippen’s book, I feel like I have a stronger understanding of not just the Bulls’ championship journeys, but of basketball, especially during that era as a whole. Like most autobiographies, whether or not you like the individual is beside the point - there’s always value in picking up someone else’s perspective. Now, onward to rewatching The Last Dance!

  24. 4 out of 5

    James Kramer

    This is a great read if you are a fan of the NBA and/or the 1990's Bulls dynasty. Reading about Pippen's perspective is very interesting, especially when considered in light of other contemporary commentaries on that era, such as The Last Dance documentary and The Jordan Rules (Sam Smith's book on the early 1990's Bulls). It was hard for a sports geek like me to put this down. Having said that, the more appropriate title for this book would be "Butthurt" rather than "Unguarded". Pippen comes off This is a great read if you are a fan of the NBA and/or the 1990's Bulls dynasty. Reading about Pippen's perspective is very interesting, especially when considered in light of other contemporary commentaries on that era, such as The Last Dance documentary and The Jordan Rules (Sam Smith's book on the early 1990's Bulls). It was hard for a sports geek like me to put this down. Having said that, the more appropriate title for this book would be "Butthurt" rather than "Unguarded". Pippen comes off very pretentious and unusually bitter. He communicates that he feels snubbed when people retrospectively consider that Bull's dynasty. He thinks MJ got too much credit and that Jordan was inappropriately self-glorifying in The Last Dance. He is at pains to make the point that Jordan would have been nothing without the rest of team, him in particular, and scoffs at the idea that the Bulls were Jordan and the "supporting cast". MJ was certainly unapologetically selfish and harsh. But the irony is that through this book Pippen demonstrates the same brass arrogance that he accuses MJ of having. Any gratitude that he has for being apart of that dynasty and getting to play with arguably the best NBA player in history is convoluted by a resentful attitude that is as self-righteous as it is pitiful. He tries to explain away his worst times (waiting on foot surgery before the 97-98 season and refusing to go in during a 1994 playoff game with 1.8 seconds left) with misguided entitlement, and downplays the respect he received from MJ in The Last Dance (Jordan stated "There would be no Michael Jordan without Scottie Pippen). In short, the intellectually honest NBA fan will find this book enjoyable to read despite fuming over Pippen's bizarre attitude.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Spishock

    One of the best Chicago Bulls players also happens to be their most sensitive and hard-headed. In this tell-all, Scottie Pippen drops the following bombshells: -Believes he’s a better overall player than Michael Jordan -Hated “The Last Dance” because it’s a glorified MJ documentary -Despised Jerry Krause -Upset the Bulls gave him zero responsibilities or credit following his retirement -Was financially screwed by the organization his entire Bulls stay -Couldn’t stand Doug Collins -NBA bff’s were M One of the best Chicago Bulls players also happens to be their most sensitive and hard-headed. In this tell-all, Scottie Pippen drops the following bombshells: -Believes he’s a better overall player than Michael Jordan -Hated “The Last Dance” because it’s a glorified MJ documentary -Despised Jerry Krause -Upset the Bulls gave him zero responsibilities or credit following his retirement -Was financially screwed by the organization his entire Bulls stay -Couldn’t stand Doug Collins -NBA bff’s were Muggsy Bogues, Horace Grant, and Karl Malone -Apologized for 1.8, when he wasn’t sorry -1.8 destroyed his relationship with Phil Jackson -Thinks Lebron > MJ -Thinks Warriors regular season record is invalidated because they didn’t win the title that year -Critical of playing with Chuck and his lacking dedication -Wanted to be with the Kobe-Shaq Lakers after the Bulls and Rockets Besides this tea, most of the text is essentially an exact retelling of his hated “The Last Dance”. Despite his jealousies, he can’t help but admire MJ’s hardwood brilliance. A notable high is Scottie’s time with the Rockets, Blazers and latter day career experiences. Unfortunately, Pippen doesn’t touch his personal life, only briefly discussing his father’s failing health and his special affection for the special needs community. It makes the book lack much personality. Still, “Unguarded” is a superior telling than this year’s similar “Where Tomorrow’s Aren’t Promised” by Carmelo Anthony.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    3.5 Stars, rounding up because I liked this better than I thought I would. I'm not even a Bulls fan, not even close, and I generally rooted against those 1990s Bulls teams especially the last 4 of their 6 championships. I just got sick of them winning so much and all of the adulation on Jordan even though I respected him as a player. This book comes across as an antidote to The Last Dance documentary from 2020 on ESPN. That was supposed to be a documentary on the Bulls teams of the 1990s, but in 3.5 Stars, rounding up because I liked this better than I thought I would. I'm not even a Bulls fan, not even close, and I generally rooted against those 1990s Bulls teams especially the last 4 of their 6 championships. I just got sick of them winning so much and all of the adulation on Jordan even though I respected him as a player. This book comes across as an antidote to The Last Dance documentary from 2020 on ESPN. That was supposed to be a documentary on the Bulls teams of the 1990s, but instead it came off too much as "The Michael Jordan documentary" which apparently really pissed off Pippin. Pippin does come off whining at times in this book at his many perceived sleights by Michael, by the two Jerry's (owner and manager of the Bulls), and by the media. Many of the points that Scottie makes in the book I found myself agreeing with him - except for one, which was his defense of the last 1.8 seconds in that 1994 playoff game against in the Knicks in which he took himself out for the final play because he wasn't getting the last shot. I wasn't buying his explanation in the book, which really wasn't even much of an explanation. Pip, you screwed up that one. You needed to just swallow your pride and get out on the court for that final play. But overall this was a reasonably entertaining sports memoir, makes me want to read more of this kind of stuff.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andre

    A bit whiny at times, mostly in regards to Michael Jordan and it comes off as petty even though some of his points about Michael Jordan are indeed legitimate. Scottie is one of twelve children and so family has always been a part of his development and outlook on life. The basketball parts of the book are the strength of this memoir. For a fan it's like a trip down memory lane with some insider details added for extra delight. Reliving key moments from the Chicago Bulls six championships with Pi A bit whiny at times, mostly in regards to Michael Jordan and it comes off as petty even though some of his points about Michael Jordan are indeed legitimate. Scottie is one of twelve children and so family has always been a part of his development and outlook on life. The basketball parts of the book are the strength of this memoir. For a fan it's like a trip down memory lane with some insider details added for extra delight. Reliving key moments from the Chicago Bulls six championships with Pippen as guide is an enjoyable experience. He, through his hindsight makes it easy to understand why coaching is such an important aspect of sport. As well as creating a team environment where it truly feels like a unified pack. Scottie is grateful for what basketball has meant to his life and showed resilience by staying the course, from his high school experience right up to his retirement. All in all a good recap of Scottie's basketball life with a few personal tidbits added. And quite a few jabs at Michael Jordan, with some accolades as well, but the jabbing felt gratuitous and contributes to my average rating.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Charles McBroom

    First of all, the book is good. I wish it was longer, but nobody's perfect. I believe that they will come out with a biography soon on him. There might have been one years ago, but it does need an upgrade. Anyway, the situation with all of the Michael Jordan dislikes are blown waaaaaay out of proportion. Pippen does have some sensitive situations. However, he does come out honest and truthful with his relationship with Jordan. Don't get me wrong: Pippen has mutual respect for Jordan, and he was b First of all, the book is good. I wish it was longer, but nobody's perfect. I believe that they will come out with a biography soon on him. There might have been one years ago, but it does need an upgrade. Anyway, the situation with all of the Michael Jordan dislikes are blown waaaaaay out of proportion. Pippen does have some sensitive situations. However, he does come out honest and truthful with his relationship with Jordan. Don't get me wrong: Pippen has mutual respect for Jordan, and he was blessed to get a chance to play with him. As far as away from the game, they weren't that close as friends. I'll let you guys read more. Finally, don't let that take away from the rest of the good stuff in the book. Lots of basketball in this book. At the same time, he brings up his family and other close relationships throughout his young age. Yes. I would recommend everybody to give the book a chance. Like I said, the read was quick for me. I finished it in about 4 days. I believe that another book will come out on him. Hopefully, they will plaster a lot of great moments of him instead of a lot of criticism.

  29. 4 out of 5

    SLHK

    Liked it. And I was a massive MJ fan in the 90s when I was in my teens. Critics said Pippen should’ve kept his mouth shut, was out of order, greedy for the money etc etc. My take? I think he’s had a chip on his shoulders that stems way back to when his brother and father got hurt, on top of living in a pretty racist world back then (compared to today). This has probably (if so, understandably) lead him to become somewhat cynical towards a lot of things in life. It’s evident throughout the book. H Liked it. And I was a massive MJ fan in the 90s when I was in my teens. Critics said Pippen should’ve kept his mouth shut, was out of order, greedy for the money etc etc. My take? I think he’s had a chip on his shoulders that stems way back to when his brother and father got hurt, on top of living in a pretty racist world back then (compared to today). This has probably (if so, understandably) lead him to become somewhat cynical towards a lot of things in life. It’s evident throughout the book. However, that doesn’t invalidate how he felt - I can’t criticise a man for expressing his true feelings. And no, defending Pip doesn’t mean I think MJ was all selfish and all the rest of it. Quite the contrary. As fans, as well as students in life, we should understand that there are many ways to skin a cat, as the saying goes. It gives the legendary bulls dynasty another in depth perspective. Why just allow yourself to be limited to one vantage point? I think we should applaud and treasure it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from Atria Books - Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I was waiting for this book to be released for the longest time. After watching The Last Dance Documentary and being a fan of the 90's Chicago Bulls through my brother, I was anticipating to find raw details and long kept secrets of the team and who better to tell them than Scottie Pippen himself. I found my jaw dropping at ma This book was received as an ARC from Atria Books - Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I was waiting for this book to be released for the longest time. After watching The Last Dance Documentary and being a fan of the 90's Chicago Bulls through my brother, I was anticipating to find raw details and long kept secrets of the team and who better to tell them than Scottie Pippen himself. I found my jaw dropping at many parts through this book and being left in shock when I finished it. I was watching the media during the time when analysts labeled Scottie as Michael Jordan's sidekick and his reaction is something I will never forget. Really it is simply put that without Scottie, The 90's Bulls would not be who they are today and Scottie expresses that through this book. We will consider adding this title to our Biography collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

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