Tex Winter Told Bulls Coach Phil Jackson To Remove Michael Jordan From Game 6 Of ’92 Finals Because He Was ‘Holding The Ball Too Long’

According to Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen, the late great Tex Winter told Phil Jackson to remove Michael Jordan from Game 6 of the 1992 NBA Finals between the Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers.

NBA, Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan, Blazers, Tex Winter, Scottie Pippen, Phil Jackson

The Bulls were down by 15 points to the Blazers heading into the fourth quarter of Game 6 and Jordan was trying to win the game by himself.

In his book called “Unguarded,” Pippen wrote about it. 

“Michael, meanwhile, was trying to do too much,” Pippen wrote in his book. “And it was backfiring. ‘You have to get him out of there,’ Tex Winter, one of our assistant coaches, pleaded to Phil. ‘He’s holding the ball too long, destroying the action.’”

The Bulls went on a 14-2 run to start the fourth quarter. Jordan was on the bench cheering his teammates on before returning to the contest when the score was 81-78 in favor of the Blazers.

Chicago won Game 6 by a final score of 97-93. Jordan finished with 33 points in 43 minutes, while Pippen put up 26 points and five rebounds.

“The Last Dance” docuseries covered the 1992 NBA Finals in Episode 5. However, there was no footage of what happened in Game 6, which upset Pippen.

“The only footage of Game 6 was showing the final seconds ticking off,” Pippen wrote. “It wouldn’t have enhanced Michael’s legacy to show his ‘supporting cast’ being the difference in a game of such magnitude. The Bulls would likely have lost that game if Phil had put Michael back in earlier in the fourth quarter. Tex was right. Michael wasn’t moving the ball.”

Jordan and Pippen won six championships together. They are widely considered to be the best duo in NBA history.

However, the Bulls icons are no longer on speaking terms. 

Pippen was upset at how he was portrayed in “The Last Dance” and the Hall of Famer took several shots at Jordan in his book. 

“God, I hated that term and being referred to as Robin to his Batman,” Pippen wrote. “Someone he felt he needed to pull along to approach every game and practice as intensely as he did; me, a team-oriented purist, offended when he tried to win games by himself.”

The Bulls went 6-0 in the NBA Finals in the Jordan-Pippen era and three-peated twice. They defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Seattle SuperSonics and Utah Jazz (twice).

Jordan averaged 31.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.5 steals and 0.9 blocks in 930 games with the Bulls. He won five regular-season MVPs, six Finals MVPs and 10 scoring titles. He’s universally recognized as the best player in NBA history. 

Meanwhile, Pippen averaged 17.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.1 steals and 0.9 blocks in 856 games with the Bulls.

Jordan never won a playoff series until Pippen got to the Bulls. MJ needed a partner in crime to have success in the NBA and Pippen fit that bill to perfection.

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