Doug Collins Gave Michael Jordan Preferential Treatment On Bulls And It Made Players Upset: ‘It Would Make Me Want To Vomit

Doug Collins Gave Michael Jordan Preferential Treatment On Bulls And It Made Players Upset: ‘It Would Make Me Want To Vomit’

With Doug, it always came down to the double standard he set: one set of rules for Michael, one for everyone else,” Pippen wrote. “Doug deferred to him in every situation, on or off the court. It would make me want to vomit.

“Michael, recognizing the power he possessed, took full advantage. If he had a commercial shoot or a tee time to make, practice would be set around his narrow window. If practice was running too long, Doug would simply excuse him. 

“The worst was what occasionally took place at practice the day after a game. ‘Michael, you got off today,’ Doug would say. ‘Go take a shower. Everyone else, I want you on the floor right away.’ His rationale for giving Michael a break was that he had expended a lot of energy in scoring 30 points or whatever the total might be.”

The Bulls went 137-109 in the regular season and 13-17 in the playoffs under Collins, who was fired in the summer of 1989 and replaced by Phil Jackson. 

“Guys lose trust in a coach when he places one player over the rest of the team,” Pippen wrote. “I don’t care who that player is. All of us were stars in high school and college. We didn’t make it this far by accident. To now suddenly feel we were second-rate was incredibly insulting.

“To Doug, it wasn’t just about winning. It was about giving the people the show they had come to see. The Michael Jordan Show.”

Jordan adored playing for Collins, but Pippen wasn’t a fan of Collins. 

“He was way too animated,” Pippen wrote. “A coach in the NBA shouldn’t be running up and down the sidelines. In the locker room after the game, his shirt and jacket were drenched with sweat as if he, too, had been playing. None of the assistant coaches, and that included Phil Jackson, who was in his first season with the Bulls, challenged Doug. Which was unfortunate.”

The Bulls went undefeated in the NBA Finals in the Jackson era, with Jordan winning all six Finals MVPs.

Jordan and Pippen enjoyed playing for Jackson, but Pippen’s relationship with the Zen Master changed forever after Jackson called for Toni Kukoc to take the game-winning shot in Game 3 of the 1994 conference semifinals against the New York Knicks. 

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