Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman all absent from Bulls’ inaugural Ring of Honor celebration

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The Big Three of the Chicago Bulls dynasty were each part of the team’s inaugural Ring of Honor class, yet there were not at the ceremony that honored them.

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman were all absent from the United Center on Thursday night for the first Ring of Honor gala.

Jordan and Pippen reportedly never planned to go, but Rodman was reportedly expected to be there but no-showed.

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Scottie Pippen, #33, Dennis Rodman, #91, and Michael Jordan, #23, of the Chicago Bulls during the game against the New York Knicks on December 6, 1995, at the United Center in Chicago, Illiniois. (Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jordan, though, addressed the crowd that saw Phil Jackson, Toni Kukoc and the rest of the 1995-96 team enshrined in a pre-recorded video.

“I am so bummed that I can’t be there tonight, but I don’t want that to stop the fun that you guys are going to have. And believe me, I am very grateful and very honored,” Jordan said. “To the fans, you guys have supported me ever since I stepped foot in Chicago. And even today, I see a lot of Chicago fans all over. So, I think we made an impression and changed what Chicago represents in terms of champions. Every time you look up in the rafters, I want you to always remember, where we were and where we are. And we are always going to be champions . . . .

“I’m bummed I can’t be there, but I will always be a Chicago Bull.”

Perhaps if both Jordan and Pippen had gone, though, there would have been a lot of awkwardness.

Pippen has been extremely critical of Jordan in recent years, likely stemming from his displeasure with how he was portrayed in ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” which highlighted Jordan’s career and his final season with the Bulls. 

Pippen even went as far as to say that Jordan had been a “horrible” player until Pippen got to Chicago (Jordan was 1-9 in the playoffs without him), and despite Jordan widely being known as the best ever, Pippen called LeBron James the “greatest statistical guy to ever play the game of basketball.”

“And there’s no comparison to him. None,” he continued.

Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen vs the Cavs

Chicago Bulls guard (23) Michael Jordan talks to forward (33) Scottie Pippen during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Richfield Coliseum. (RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports)

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To make matters even more awkward, Pippen’s ex-wife, Larsa, is in a relationship with Jordan’s son, Marcus.

Jordan and Pippen each won six titles, which came in two separate threepeats from 1991 to 1993, and 1996 to 1998.

Jordan sold his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets last year. He had bought his portion of the team back in 2010.

Michael Jordan speaks to media

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan speaks to the media about hosting the NBA All-Star basketball game during a news conference in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, February 12, 2019. Jordan is finalizing a deal to sell the majority share of the Charlotte Hornets, a move that will end his 13-year run overseeing the organization, the team announced on Friday, June 16, 2023. Jordan is selling to a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, the Hornets said.  (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

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This is not the first time Pippen and Jordan could have been celebrated together but weren’t. Pippen was absent from the NBA 75th Anniversary celebration at the 2022 All-Star Game in Cleveland, but Jordan made the trip.

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