IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Scottie Pippen speaks out on that infamous final shot he never took

The Chicago Bulls Hall of Famer talked about why he got angry at a play drawn up by coach Phil Jackson for teammate Toni Kukoc in the 1994 playoffs.

Nearly 30 years after one of the most infamous moments of Scottie Pippen's Hall of Fame career, the Chicago Bulls legend is sharing his side of the thrilling ending to a 1994 playoff game against the New York Knicks.

Pippen famously did not enter the game after expressing his displeasure to head coach Phil Jackson when Jackson drew up the final shot in a tie game with 1.8 seconds left for Pippen's rookie teammate, Toni Kukoc.

Chicago Bulls vs New York Knicks, 1994 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals
Scottie Pippen says former Bulls coach Phil Jackson told him to go to the bench after Pippen got upset about a play Jackson drew up at the end of Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals. John Biever / Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Kukoc drained the shot to win Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, but Pippen's absence from the play drew the headlines.

Pippen, who was the Bulls' biggest star that season following the abrupt retirement of Michael Jordan, was supposed to be the inbounder on the play but refused that assignment and was replaced by teammate Pete Myers. The Knicks ultimately won the series despite Kukoc's heroics.

Pippen writes about that moment in his new memoir, "Unguarded," and he spoke about it on the 3rd hour of TODAY Monday. He says it wasn't his decision to go back to the bench on that play.

"There’s always regrets about it, but as a player, I think I could’ve made that last shot, I think I could’ve been the one to have taken that last shot," Pippen said.

"It wasn’t really about me taking the shot, it was about the respect that you put me out of bounds, your best player? And that was where I voiced my opinion. I didn’t really take the bench. (Jackson) told me to stay on the bench."

The moment was also featured in the popular ESPN documentary "The Last Dance" last year.

"Pip knows better than that," Pippen's legendary teammate, Michael Jordan, says in the documentary about Pippen's refusal to take part in the play.

Pippen also took issue with his portrayal in the film, which was controlled by Jordan. He was not happy about the moment with Kukoc being included in the documentary considering Jordan was not part of that team, and the focus of the series was the Bulls' final championship season in 1998.

"I think my legacy is already set," Pippen said. "I think I was belittled a bit in the documentary. I felt like the 1.8 seconds should’ve never been in the documentary. Michael Jordan wasn’t a part of that team. He didn’t talk about how he left the team right before training camp."

Jordan did not comment when reached by TODAY.

Pippen writes in his book that Jordan reached out to him following the release of "The Last Dance" because he heard Pippen was upset.

"He said exactly what I said in the book, that if he was me I would be a little disappointed, too," Pippen said on TODAY.

The book has critical words for everyone from Jordan to Jackson to fellow NBA legends Charles Barkley and Isiah Thomas.

TODAY's Craig Melvin asked Pippen if he was worried about fans thinking he was "bitter."

"I don’t think I come across as bitter, I think I come across as telling my side of the story," Pippen said. "Everyone has always talked about my career and how it went, and I wanted people to hear it from my side."

As one of the NBA's 50 greatest players, Pippen was asked who he thinks is the greatest NBA player of all time. It's a topic that almost always includes Jordan at the front of the discussion.

"There’s a lot of great players in this game," Pippen said. "You can’t put any one player at the top. Basketball is a team game, it’s not golf. There’s no greatest. There’s been a lot of great players, but there’s no greatest."