Scottie Pippen

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Scottie Pippen
Lipofsky Pippen.jpg
Personal information
Born (1965-09-25) September 25, 1965 (age 49)
Hamburg, Arkansas, U.S.
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)[a]
Listed weight 228 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school Hamburg (Hamburg, Arkansas)
College Central Arkansas (1983–1987)
NBA draft 1987 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics
Pro career 1987–2008
Position Small forward
Number 33
Career history
19871998 Chicago Bulls
1998-1999 Houston Rockets
19992003 Portland Trail Blazers
2003–2004 Chicago Bulls
2008 Torpan Pojat
2008 Sundsvall Dragons
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 18,940 (16.1 ppg)
Assists 6,135 (5.2 apg)
Steals 2,307 (2.0 spg)
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Scottie Maurice[1] Pippen (born September 25, 1965) is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association. He is most remembered for his time with the Chicago Bulls, with whom he was instrumental in six NBA titles and their record 1995–96 season of 72 wins. Pippen, along with Michael Jordan, played an important role in transforming the Bulls team into a vehicle for popularizing the NBA around the world during the 1990s.[2]

Considered one of the best small forwards of all time, Pippen was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight consecutive times and the All-NBA First Team three times. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star and was the NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1994. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History during the 1996–97 season, and is one of four players to have his jersey retired by the Chicago Bulls (the others being Jerry Sloan, Bob Love, and Michael Jordan). He played a key role on both the 1992 Chicago Bulls Championship team and the 1996 Chicago Bulls Championship team which were selected as two of the greatest teams in NBA history. His biography on the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame's website states, "The multidimensional Pippen ran the court like a point guard, attacked the boards like a power forward, and swished the nets like a shooting guard."[3] During his 17-year career, he played 12 seasons with the Bulls, one with the Houston Rockets and four with the Portland Trail Blazers, making the postseason sixteen straight times.

Pippen is also the only person to have won an NBA title and Olympic gold medal in the same year twice (1992, 1996).[4] He was a part of the 1992 U.S. Olympic "Dream Team" which beat its opponents by an average of 44 points.[5] Pippen was also a key figure in the 1996 Olympic team, alongside former Dream Team members Karl Malone, John Stockton, and Charles Barkley as well as newer faces such as Penny Hardaway and Grant Hill. He wore number 8 during both years.

Pippen is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (for his individual career, and as a member of the "Dream Team"), being inducted for both on August 13, 2010.[6] The Chicago Bulls retired his number #33. His college, University of Central Arkansas, retired his number #33 as well.[7] Pippen and Jordan have been ranked as the greatest duo of all time by several websites and magazines.[8][9][10]

Early life[edit]

Scottie Pippen was born on September 25, 1965, in Hamburg, Arkansas, the youngest of 12 children born to Ethel and Preston Pippen (June 9, 1920[11] – May 10, 1990).[12] Pippen's mother was 6 feet tall and his father was 6'1"; all of their children were tall with Scottie being the tallest. His parents could not afford to send their other children to college. His father worked in a paper mill until a stroke paralyzed his right side, prevented him from walking and affected his speech.[13]

Pippen attended Hamburg High School. Playing point guard, he led his team to the state playoffs and earned all-conference honors as a senior. He was not offered any college scholarships. Pippen began his college playing career at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway as a 6'1" walk-on. He did not receive much recognition in college because the school played in the NAIA. He eventually had a growth spurt to 6'8",[14] and his per game averages of 23.6 points, 10 rebounds, 4.3 assists and near 60 percent field goal shooting earned the Central Arkansas senior Consensus NAIA All-American honors in 1987, drawing the attention of NBA scouts.[15]

1983–84 University of Central Arkansas 20 .456 .684 3.0 0.7 0.5 4.3
1984–85 University of Central Arkansas 19 .564 .676 9.2 1.6 1.5 18.5
1985–86 University of Central Arkansas 29 .556 .686 9.2 3.5 2.4 19.8
1986–87 University of Central Arkansas 25 .592 .575 .719 10.0 4.3 4.2 23.6
Career 93 .563 .575 .695 8.1 2.7 2.1 17.2

NBA career[edit]

Early career (1987–90)[edit]

He was selected fifth overall in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics and traded to the Chicago Bulls for Olden Polynice and future draft pick options.[16] Pippen became part of Chicago's young forward tandem with 6'10" power forward Horace Grant, although both came off the bench to back up Brad Sellers and Charles Oakley respectively, during their rookie seasons. Scottie made his NBA debut on November 7, 1987 when the Chicago Bulls faced the Philadelphia 76ers as their first game of the season. He finished the game with 10 points, 2 steals, 4 assists and 1 rebound in 23 minutes of play. The Bulls won their season-opening game 104–94.[17] With fellow Bull Michael Jordan as a motivational and instructional mentor, Pippen refined his skills and slowly developed many new ones over his career. Jordan and Pippen frequently played one-on-one outside of team practices simply to hone each other's skills on offense and defense. Pippen claimed the starting small forward position during the 1988 NBA Playoffs, helping the Jordan-led Bulls to reach the conference semifinals for the first time in over a decade. Pippen emerged as one of the league's premier young forwards at the turn of the decade,[18] recording then-career highs in points (16.5 points per game), rebounds (6.7 rebounds per game), and field goal shooting (48.9%) as well as being the NBA's number three leader in steals (211).[18] These feats earned Pippen his debut NBA All-Star selection in 1990.[18] Pippen continued to improve, helping the Bulls to the Conference Finals in 1989 and 1990. However, they lost both Conference Finals to the Detroit Pistons, and in 1990, Pippen suffered a severe migraine in Game 7 as the Bulls lost 93–74.[19]

The Bulls' first three-peat (1991–93)[edit]

In the 1990-91 NBA season, Pippen emerged as the Bulls' primary defensive stopper and a versatile scoring threat in Phil Jackson's 'triangle offense'. Alongside the help of Michael Jordan, Scottie continued to improve his game. The Bulls lost their season-opening game on November 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers 124-116. Pippen finished the game with 13 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 steal while shooting 33,3% from the field in 33 minutes.[20] He had his first triple-double on November 23 when the Bulls faced the Los Angeles Clippers as he had 13 points, 12 assists and 13 rebounds in 30 minutes, in addition to 2 steals and 1 block while shooting 54,5% from the field. The Bulls won 105-97.[21] He had his second triple-double against the Indiana Pacers on December 22 as the Bulls defeat the Pacers 128-118. Pippen finished the game with 18 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in 41 minutes of play, in addition to 1 steal and 1 block while shooting 54,5% from the field.[22] Scottie scored a season-high of 43 points on February 23 in a 129-108 win against the Charlotte Hornets. In addition, he also grabbed 4 rebounds, dished out 6 assists and had 6 steals in 31 minutes of play. He had a career-high field goal percentage that game with 94,1% as he was 16-17 from the field.[23] Pippen had his third and final triple-double of the season on April 4 against the New York Knicks as the Bulls won 101-91. He finished the game with 20 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in addition to 4 steals while shooting 50% from the field in 42 minutes of play.[24] The Bulls finished the season with a record of 61-21. Thy were first in the Central Division, first in the Eastern Conference (NBA) and second overall, as the Portland Trailblazers clinched the first spot. Pippen was second on the team in points per game with 17.8 and steals with 2.4 next to Michael Jordan and he was also second in rebounds per game with 7.3 next to Horace Grant. Pippen led the team in blocks per game with 1.1 and assists per game with 6.2. He was also the 6th highest paid player on the team with a salary of $765,000.[25] He ranked fifth overall in the NBA in steals, both for total and per game.[26] For his efforts in the 1990-91 NBA season Pippen was awarded NBA All-Defensive Second Team honors.[25] The Bulls went on to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1991 NBA Finals.

He helped lead the Bulls to their first three-peat as they won the following two yers in 1992 and 1993). Pippen earned 10 NBA All-Defensive Team nods, including 8 on the first team. In 1992, he was named to the original Dream Team which competed in the Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. With the U.S. winning the gold medal, Pippen and Jordan became the first players to win both an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal in the same year.[4]

Pippen without Jordan (1993–95)[edit]

Michael Jordan retired before the 1993–94 season, due to the death of his father James R. Jordan, Sr., and in his absence Pippen emerged from Jordan's shadow. That year, he earned All-Star Game MVP honors and led the Bulls in scoring, assists, and blocks, and was second in the NBA in steals per game, averaging 22.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.9 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game, while shooting 49.1% from the field and a career-best 32% from the 3-point line. For his efforts, he earned the first of three straight All-NBA First Team selections, and he finished third in MVP voting. The Bulls finished the season with 55 wins, only two fewer than the year before.

However, the most infamous episode of Pippen's career came in his first year without Jordan. In the 1994 NBA Playoffs, the Eastern Conference Semifinals pitted the Bulls against the New York Knicks, whom the Bulls had dispatched en route to a championship each of the previous three seasons. On May 13, 1994, down 2–0 in the series in Game 3, Bulls coach Phil Jackson needed a big play from his team to have any chance of going on to the conference finals. With 1.8 seconds left and the score tied at 102, Jackson designed the last play for rookie Toni Kukoc, with Pippen instructed to inbound the basketball. Pippen, who had been the Bulls' leader all season long in Jordan's absence, was so angered by Jackson's decision to not let him take the potential game-winner that he refused to leave the bench and re-enter the game when the timeout was over.[27]

Although Kukoc did hit the game-winner, a 23-foot fadeaway jumper at the buzzer, there was little celebrating to be done by the Bulls, as television cameras caught an unsmiling Phil Jackson storming off the court.[28] "Scottie asked out of the play," Jackson told reporters moments later in the post-game interview.[29]

Teammate Steve Kerr elaborated when asked to recall the event: "I don't know what got into Pippen. He is such a great teammate and maybe the pressure was getting to him and he just could not take it anymore, no one knows for sure but he is a team player."[attribution needed]

A key play occurred in Game 5 which changed the outcome of the series. With 2.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Knicks' Hubert Davis attempted a 23-foot shot which was defended by Scottie.[30] Pippen was called for a personal foul by referee Hue Hollins, who determined that Pippen made contact with Davis.[30] Television replays indicated that contact was made after Davis had released the ball.[30] Davis successfully made both free throw attempts to assist in the Knicks victory, 87-86, and gave the Knicks a three to two games advantage in the series.[30] the resulting incident was described as the most controversial moment of Hollins’ career by Referee magazine.[31]

Hollins defended the call after the game saying, "I saw Scottie make contact with his shooting motion. I'm positive there was contact on the shot."[30] Darell Garretson, the league's supervisor of officials and who also officiated in the league, agreed with Hollins and issued a statement, "The perception is that referees should put their whistles in their pockets in the last minutes. But it all comes down to what is sufficient contact. There's an old, old adage that refs don't make those calls in the last seconds. Obviously, you hope you don't make a call that will decide a game. But the call was within the context of how we had been calling them all game."[30] Garretson later changed his stance of the call the next season. Speaking to a Chicago Tribune reporter, Garretson described Hollins' call as "terrible".[31] Chicago head coach Phil Jackson, upset over the outcome of the game, was fined US$10,000 for comparing the loss to the gold medal game controversy at the 1972 Summer Olympics.[32]

In Game 6, Pippen made the signature play of his career. Midway in the third quarter, Pippen received the ball during a Bulls fast break, charging toward the basket. As center Patrick Ewing jumped up to defend the shot, Pippen fully extended the ball out, absorbing body contact and a foul from Ewing, and slammed the ball through the hoop with Ewing's hand in his face. Pippen landed several feet away from the basket along the baseline, incidentally standing over a fallen Ewing. He then made taunting remarks to both Ewing and then Spike Lee, who was standing courtside supporting the Knicks, thus receiving a technical foul. This extended the Bulls' lead to 17; they won 93–79.

The Knicks went on to win the Bulls-Knicks series in seven games, and proceeded all the way to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Houston Rockets, also in seven games. In the final game, Scottie scored 20 points and grabbed a whopping 16 rebounds but the Bulls still lost 87-77.[33]

Trade rumors involving Pippen escalated during the 1994 off-season. Jerry Krause, the Bulls' general manager, was reportedly looking to ship Pippen off to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for all-star forward Shawn Kemp, moving Toni Kukoc into Pippen's position as starting small forward with Kemp filling in the vacant starting power forward position in place of Horace Grant, a free agent who left the Bulls for the up-and-coming Orlando Magic during the off-season. However, the trade was never made and those rumors were put to rest once it was announced that Michael Jordan would be returning to the Bulls late in the 1994–95 season. The Pippen-led Bulls did not fare nearly as well in the 1994–95 season as they had in the season before—in fact, for the first time in years they were in danger of missing the playoffs (though much of this may be due to a lack of interior defense and rebounding due to Grant's departure). The Bulls were just 34–31 prior to Jordan's return for the final 17 games, and Jordan led them to a 13–4 record to close the regular season. Still, Pippen finished the 1994–95 season leading the Bulls in every major statistical category—points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks—becoming only the second player in NBA history to accomplish this (Dave Cowens did it in 1977–78; it has since been achieved also by Kevin Garnett in 2002–03 and LeBron James in 2008–09).[2][34]

The Bulls' second three-peat (1996–98)[edit]

With the return of Jordan and the addition of two-time champion Dennis Rodman, the Bulls posted the best regular-season record in NBA history (72–10) in 1995–96 en route to winning their fourth title against the Seattle SuperSonics. Later that year, Pippen became the first person to win an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal in the same year twice, playing for Team USA at the Atlanta Olympics.[4]

Coming back from their 4th NBA Championship and a record breaking 72–10 season, the Chicago Bulls seemed to have little less to prove. Phil Jackson wanted to relieve the team of some pressure and therefore started practicing for the season very slowly while giving the Bulls more time to rest.[35] The Bulls opened the season 17–1 and had a league-best record of 42–6 when entering the All-Star break.[35] Both Pippen and Jordan were selected as one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players due to the league celebrating its 50th season. The ceremony was held at halftime of the 1997 NBA All-Star Game which took place on February 9, 1997. Phil Jackson, the Chicago Bulls head coach, was honored as one of the 10 greatest coaches in NBA history, while the 1992 Chicago Bulls Championship team and the 1996 Chicago Bulls Championship team, on which Scottie played key roles, were selected as two of the greatest teams in NBA history.[36] In the All-Star game itself, Pippen was 4–9 from the field, finishing with 8 points as well as 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 25 minutes of play. The East defeat the West 132–120 and Glen Rice was crowned the All-Star Game MVP[37] Pippen scored a career high of 47 points in a 134–123 win over the Denver Nuggets on February 18. He was 19–27 from the field and in addition grabbed 4 rebounds, dished out 5 assists and had 2 steals in 41 minutes of play.[38] On February 23 Pippen was voted "Player of The Week" for his efforts in the week of February 17.[39] This would be his 5th time to receive that honor and also his last. But as the league entered its final weeks, the joy that had seemed to envelop the Bulls quickly began to evaporate. They encountered their first major roadblocks in their drive to win their 5th NBA Championship as they lost several of their key players such as Bill Wennington, who had a ruptured tendon in his left foot,[40] Dennis Rodman, who had injured his knee[41] and Toni Kukoc, who had an inflamed sole on his right foot.[42] This put even more pressure on Scottie and Michael to try to keep Chicago from losing more games.[35] Chicago finished a league-best 69–13 record. In the final game of the regular season, Scottie missed a game-winning 3 pointer which led to the Bulls failing to have back-to-back 70-win seasons.[43] For his efforts in the 1996-97 NBA season, Pippen earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors for the 7th consecutive time as well as All-NBA Second Team honors.[44]

Chicago Bulls Championship banners hang in the rafters of the United Center

Despite injuring his foot in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, Pippen helped the Bulls to an 84–82 victory over the Utah Jazz in game 1 of the NBA Finals. He scored 27 points while Jordan scored 31. The Bulls trailed by one in the 4th, yet were able to grab an 81–79 lead after Pippen blocked Antoine Carr, then made his third 3-pointer with 1:11 remaining. However, John Stockton answered with a 3 of his own with 51.7 seconds left to give Utah an 82–81 lead. Michael Jordan made 1 of 2 free throws with 35.8 seconds left to tie it at 82. Then, Karl Malone was fouled by Rodman with 9.2 seconds left and had a chance to give Utah the lead. Scottie famously psyched him out, saying, "Just remember, the mailman doesn't deliver on Sundays, Karl," before he stepped up to the line. He missed them both. Jordan got the rebound and quickly called a time-out with 7.5 seconds left. With the game on the line, the Bulls put the ball in Jordan's hands. He dribbled out most of the waning seconds, then launched a 20-footer that went in at the buzzer to give Chicago a 1–0 series lead.[45] Pippen and Jordan dominated game 2, defeating the Jazz by 12 points.[46] The Bulls struggled in game 3; although Pippen tied a then finals record of seven 3-pointers, they still lost 104–93.[47] After losing the next game, the Bulls won game 5 which is also known as the "The Flu Game", since Michael Jordan was battling illness. Pippen finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 1 steal in 45 minutes.[48] With only a few seconds remaining and the game's result safely in Chicago's favor, Jordan collapsed into Pippen's arms, creating an iconic image that has come to symbolize "The Flu Game".[49]

During game 6 the 1997 NBA Finals, Pippen made one of his greatest plays. Trailing by two, the Jazz looked for a final shot to stay alive, but Pippen knocked away Bryon Russell's inbounds pass intended for Shandon Anderson and rolled the ball over to Toni Kukoc, who dunked the final 2 points of the game to give the Bulls a 90–86 lead, clinching the championship. Pippen finished the game with 23 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks in 43 minutes of play. Afterwards, Jordan was named Finals MVP for the 5th time.[50]

Amid speculation that the 1997–98 season would be the last in Chicago for Pippen, Jordan, and Jackson, the Bulls followed up by playing against the Jazz again in the 1998 NBA Finals to win their second three-peat.

Later career (1998–2004)[edit]

After being in Chicago for 11 seasons, Pippen, the second all-time leader in points, assists, and steals in Bulls franchise history, was traded to the Houston Rockets for the lockout-shortened season of 1998–99. Pippen's trade to Houston received much publicity, including his only solo cover of Sports Illustrated.[51] He teamed with Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley, but there were chemistry problems, especially with Barkley.[52] In that season, the Rockets went 31–19, but lost to the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, 3–1.

On April 22, 1999, Pippen was detained under suspicion of driving while intoxicated,[53] but the charges were later dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Following the lockout-shortened season in Houston, Pippen was traded in the off-season to the Portland Trail Blazers, whom he helped to the Western Conference Finals. But once there, they lost to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in seven games, despite holding a 15-point lead (75–60) in the fourth quarter of Game 7. Pippen played on for several more seasons in Portland, but they never advanced that far again in the playoffs. After the 2002–03 season, he signed once more with the Bulls, but due to injuries, he was only able to play for 23 games in 2003–04 and retired shortly after the season.

Pippen was a near-constant presence in the NBA Playoffs during his career, reaching the playoffs 16 straight years (11 with Chicago, 1 with Houston, 4 with Portland), and he still leads the NBA in career playoff steals, with 395.


Scottie Pippen, 2009

The Chicago Bulls retired Pippen's jersey number in a ceremony on December 9, 2005. The team played against the Los Angeles Lakers that night and Pippen was reunited with Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman and Horace Grant during the ceremony. Pippen's 33 joined Michael Jordan's 23, Bob Love's 10, and Jerry Sloan's 4 as the only numbers retired by the Bulls.

In January 2008, Pippen made a brief comeback to professional basketball at age 42, when he made a tour of Scandinavia and played two games for top Finnish league team Torpan Pojat (ToPo), and top Swedish league team Sundsvall.[54] In his first game, on January 4, Pippen scored 12 points in ToPo's 93–81 win over Porvoo. He registered nine points and nine rebounds in a 98–85 win over Honka on January 5.[55] In his third game of the tour, Pippen registered 21 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and two steals in 30 minutes in a 102–74 Sundsvall Dragons win over Akropol of Rinkeby. The Dragons paid Pippen $66,000 for his appearance.[54]

Pippen playing in Europe in 2008

Pippen returned to the Bulls on July 15, 2010 as a team ambassador.[56] In 2012, he was named senior advisor to Michael Reinsdorf, the Bulls' president and COO.[57]

Scottie started in the 2011 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game for the East squad alongside his former 1992 Dream Team teammate Chris Mullin. He was 6–8 from the field and topped the game's scoring list with 17 points. The East squad ended up defeating the West squad 54 to 49. One of the highlights of the game was Pippen's block on singer Justin Bieber who ended up being voted as the MVP of the game. In a later interview, Pippen commented on Bieber's performance: He played pretty well, but he has an ugly shot.[58]

In order to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their first NBA Championship in 1991, the Chicago Bulls organization honored the 1991 Chicago Bulls Championship team in a ceremony during halftime of a game versus the Utah Jazz on March 12, 2011. Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan both attended and participated in the celebration, where they were reunited with their former teammates John Paxson, Horace Grant, Stacey King, Craig Hodges, Will Perdue, Scott Williams, Cliff Levingston, Dennis Hopson and Assistant Coach Johnny Bach. Former head coach Phil Jackson did not participate but gave a speech via a video message. Former Bulls' broadcaster Jim Durham emceed the halftime ceremony.[59]

On May 27, 2011, Pippen generated a great deal of criticism by saying that Miami Heat star Lebron James may be a better player than Michael Jordan. This came only a day after the Heat beat the Bulls 4 games to 1 to advance to the 2011 NBA Finals. Scottie said: Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play the game. I may go so far as saying LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game.[60] Pippen faced a backlash from Bulls fans after his comments, and even former teammates such as Horace Grant who stated in a radio interview: Wow, Pippen's my man, and we'll always be close, but I totally disagree. LeBron is going to be one of the top players to ever play the game, but Michael Jeffrey Jordan, who we bumped heads at times, is I think, the best basketball player I've ever seen.[61] In a later interview on the radio show "Kap & Haugh" he stated: No, I did not say I would take LeBron over Michael. The reality is you need to go back and figure out what I said.[62]

Player profile[edit]

Pippen was renowned for his defensive abilities, having made the NBA All Defensive Team ten consecutive years during his career and leading the league in steals in 1994–95. Phil Jackson once described him as a "one-man wrecking crew", capable of guarding anyone from the point guard to the center position.[63] Pippen is one of three NBA players to record 200 steals and 100 blocks in a season, and he also has the record for most career steals in the playoffs (395). He was skilled at staying in front of his man on defense, and particularly effective as a help defender, with his long arms in traps. He was also capable of making come-from-behind blocks.

On offense, Pippen relied primarily upon his remarkable athleticism to gain an advantage towards the basket and slashed towards the basket for higher percentage shots. Early in his career, particularly, Pippen was not an adept jump shooter, and struggled when shooting directly on a line to the basket. He favored shooting his jump shots on angles, such as along the free throw line extended (to the right and left of the elbows of the free throw lane), such that he could bank the ball off the backboard into the basket. He honed this shot over the course of his career and became more effective at scoring from distance late in his career.[citation needed]


Pippen's retired #33 jersey hangs in rafters of the United Center

Pippen is remembered as one of the most versatile and agile players, and perhaps most notably as one of the greatest defenders ever. Much like fellow Chicago Bull Michael Jordan, he provided tenacious on-the-ball perimeter defense, or tough interior defense, and was particularly effective as a help defender. He was gifted with extraordinary athleticism, even compared with other professional athletes, and skills in areas that bode well for basketball.

His unusually long arms (88 in (2.2 m) wingspan)[13] and jumping agility helped him clog the passing lanes on defense, to block shots from behind on players that had managed to pass by him, to grab out-of-reach rebounds, to make unusual plays in mid-air, and to make passes around defenders that most players are physically unable to make. He often led the Bulls in assists and blocks as a result. Pippen was also a selfless player. His team-focused approach to the game was a key component in the Bulls' championships. Pippen's career assists total of 6,135 (5.2 per game) is a testament to that approach. It was 23rd all-time among all players when he retired.

His intense work ethic and athletic physique gave him the ability to consistently make highlight-reel plays, such as applying defensive intensity, forcing a turnover, stealing the ball and starting a one-man fast break that he would finish with a thunderous slam dunk. As Pippen himself has attested, he and Jordan would compete to see who could force more turnovers and produce more offense from defense in each game (fast break points). During the 1990 Slam Dunk Contest, Scottie exhibited his leaping ability with a dunk from the free throw line. He was an athletic finisher at the rim, both with dunks and a skillful finger roll that he added to his skill set over time. He was also a prolific perimeter shooter, taking about three thousand and making almost one thousand three-pointers in his career.


Pippen and his wife Larsa attending a Chicago Bulls game, c. 2006

Pippen has been married twice; once to Karen McCollum (m. 1988, d. 1990) with whom he has a son, Antron(born c. November 1987),[1] and currently to Larsa Younan (m. 1997), with whom he has three children, Sophia Pippen, Justin Pippen and Scotty Pippen Jr.

In February 2011, he placed his $16 million mansion in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on the market.[64] In March 2011, a yard sale was held at his former home in Highland Park, Illinois.[65]

His current wife, Larsa, starred in the TV show The Real Housewives of Miami.

On July 11, 2013, Camran Shafighi filed a $4 million lawsuit against Pippen in Los Angeles Superior Court over an incident that occurred on June 23, 2013 at the Malibu restaurant Nobu. Shafighi said that he was physically attacked by Pippen after taking pictures of Pippen inside and outside the restaurant. Shafighi was then taken to a hospital.[66] On August 27, 2013, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced that charges would not be filed against Pippen.[67]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Scottie Pippen has been referenced in several songs, some of which include: Fredro Starr's "What If" (Yo what if Jordan never had Scottie, what if Sammy never ratted Gotti, what if New York without Giuliani), Biggie Smalls' "Microphone Murderer" (The microphone I rip it, slammin' MC's like Scottie Pippen), Snoop Dogg's "Hoop Dreams" (Minnesota Timberwolves, we cut 'em down, Hakeem Olajuwon and Scottie Pippen, we shut 'em down), The Weeknd's "The Morning" (Let the world listen, if a hater's caught slippin', then my nigga stay tight, got my back like Pippen), Method Man & Redman's "Y.O.U" (Hold 'em and hit 'n stickin', ballin' like Scottie Pippen) and many more. Rapper Curren$y released a song titled "Scottie Pippen" in the basketball player's honor which was produced by The Alchemist.
  • Scottie Pippen's and Michael Jordan's characters were portrayed in the first episode of the 11th season of Family Guy titled "Into Fat Air".[68]
  • Pippen's likeness was featured in a video game titled Slam City with Scottie Pippen. The game itself is a FMV basketball video game developed by Digital Pictures for the PC and CD-ROM-based video game consoles such as the Sega CD. In the game, players face various opponents, including Pippen himself, in one-on-one games of basketball.[68]
  • One of Scottie's most memorable moves, the infamous dunk over former New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing, was featured in a documentary film released by TNT titled "Posterized". Reggie Miller compared the intensity of the dunk to the knockout given to boxer Joe Frazier by George Foreman.
  • In 1996, Scottie Pippen appeared on season 2 of the TV show ER in the episode titled Baby Shower.[69]
  • Pippen was featured in a segment of the documentary film Hardwood Heroes which was released in 1998. The film also features Clyde Drexler, Glen Rice and others.
  • In 1998, amongst other NBA players, he appeared as a cameo in Spike Lee's sports-drama film He Got Game.[70]
  • In 2009, Pippen appeared in the movie Midgets vs. Mascots, which was the last movie featuring Gary Coleman.[71]
  • In 2010, Pippen voiced an animated version of himself in the "Love Rollercoaster" episode of The Cleveland Show.[72]
  • In 2013, Scottie was featured in a segment of volume 5 of a five-part documentary series by NBA TV titled NB90s. The series consisted of five half-hour episodes and it depicted the league and its players during the 1990s.[73]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season averages[edit]

1987–88 Chicago 79 0 20.9 .463 .174 .576 3.8 2.1 1.2 0.7 7.9
1988–89 Chicago 73 56 33.1 .476 .273 .668 6.1 3.5 1.9 0.8 14.4
1989–90 Chicago 82 82 38.4 .489 .250 .675 6.7 5.4 2.6 1.2 16.5
1990–91 Chicago 82 82 36.8 .520 .309 .706 7.3 6.2 2.4 1.1 17.8
1991–92 Chicago 82 82 38.6 .506 .200 .760 7.7 7.0 1.9 1.1 21.0
1992–93 Chicago 81 81 38.6 .473 .237 .663 7.7 6.3 2.1 0.9 18.6
1993–94 Chicago 72 72 38.3 .491 .320 .660 8.7 5.6 2.9 0.8 22.0
1994–95 Chicago 79 79 38.2 .480 .345 .716 8.1 5.2 2.9 1.1 21.4
1995–96 Chicago 77 77 36.7 .463 .374 .679 6.4 5.9 1.7 0.7 19.4
1996–97 Chicago 82 82 37.7 .474 .368 .701 6.5 5.7 1.9 0.6 20.2
1997–98 Chicago 44 44 37.5 .447 .318 .777 5.2 5.8 1.8 1.0 19.1
1998–99 Houston 50 50 40.2 .432 .340 .721 6.5 5.9 2.0 0.7 14.5
1999–2000 Portland 82 82 33.5 .451 .327 .717 6.3 5.0 1.4 0.5 12.5
2000–01 Portland 64 60 33.3 .451 .344 .739 5.2 4.6 1.5 0.6 11.3
2001–02 Portland 62 60 32.2 .411 .305 .774 5.2 5.9 1.6 0.6 10.6
2002–03 Portland 64 58 29.9 .444 .286 .818 4.3 4.5 1.6 0.4 10.8
2003–04 Chicago 23 6 17.9 .379 .271 .630 3.0 2.2 0.9 0.4 5.9
Career 1,178 1,053 34.9 .473 .326 .704 6.4 5.2 2.0 0.8 16.1
All-Star 7 6 24.7 .442 .318 .625 5.6 2.4 2.4 0.9 12.1

Playoff averages[edit]

1988 Chicago 10 6 29.4 .465 .500 .714 5.2 2.4 0.8 0.8 10.0
1989 Chicago 17 17 36.4 .462 .393 .640 7.6 3.9 1.4 0.9 13.1
1990 Chicago 15 14 40.8 .495 .323 .710 7.2 5.5 2.1 1.3 19.3
1991 Chicago 17 17 41.4 .504 .235 .792 8.9 5.8 2.5 1.1 21.6
1992 Chicago 22 22 40.9 .468 .250 .761 8.8 6.7 1.9 1.1 19.5
1993 Chicago 19 19 41.5 .465 .176 .638 6.9 5.6 2.2 0.7 20.1
1994 Chicago 10 10 38.4 .434 .267 .885 8.3 4.6 2.4 0.7 22.8
1995 Chicago 10 10 39.6 .443 .368 .676 8.6 5.8 1.4 1.0 17.8
1996 Chicago 18 18 41.2 .390 .286 .638 8.5 5.9 2.6 0.9 16.9
1997 Chicago 19 19 39.6 .417 .345 .791 6.8 3.8 1.5 0.9 19.2
1998 Chicago 21 21 39.8 .415 .228 .679 7.1 5.2 2.1 1.0 16.8
1999 Houston 4 4 43.0 .329 .273 .808 11.8 5.5 1.8 0.8 18.3
2000 Portland 16 16 38.4 .419 .300 .743 7.1 4.3 2.0 0.4 14.9
2001 Portland 3 3 39.0 .421 .176 .667 5.7 2.3 2.7 0.7 13.7
2002 Portland 3 3 33.0 .409 .545 .875 9.3 5.7 1.3 0.7 16.3
2003 Portland 4 1 18.8 .409 .333 1,000 2.8 3.3 0.0 0.0 5.8
Career 208 200 39.0 .444 .303 .724 7.6 5.0 1.9 0.9 17.5


Season Team Salary
1987–88 Chicago $725,000
1988–89 Chicago $575,000
1989–90 Chicago $765,000
1990–91 Chicago $765,000
1991–92 Chicago $2,770,000
1992–93 Chicago $3,425,000
1993–93 Chicago $3,075,000
1994–95 Chicago $2,225,000
1995–96 Chicago $2,925,000
1996–97 Chicago $2,250,000
1997–98 Chicago $2,775,000
1998–99 Houston $11,000,000
1999–2000 Portland $14,795,642
2000–01 Portland $13,750,000
2001–02 Portland $18,083,564
2002–03 Portland $19,727,524
2003–04 Chicago $4,917,000
2004–05 Chicago $5,408,700

Total (may be incomplete): $109,192,430[44]

Career highs[edit]

Stat High Opponent Date
Points 47 vs. Denver Nuggets February 18, 1997
Field goal percentage 16–17 (.941) vs. Charlotte Hornets February 23, 1991
Field goals made 19 vs. Denver Nuggets February 18, 1997
Field goal attempts (Playoffs) 35 (3 OT) vs. Phoenix Suns June 13, 1993
Free throws made, none missed 11–11 vs. Detroit Pistons March 31, 1998
Free throws made 13 at Los Angeles Clippers April 23, 1999
Free throw attempts 21 at Charlotte Hornets November 5, 1993
3-point field goals made (Playoffs) 7 at Utah Jazz June 6, 1997
3-point field goal attempts 13 at Toronto Raptors December 8, 1996
Rebounds 18 at New York Knicks March 31, 1992
Rebounds (Playoffs) 18 at Miami Heat May 1, 1996
Offensive rebounds (Playoffs) 9 vs. Los Angeles Lakers May 15, 1999
Defensive rebounds 16 (OT) vs. New York Knicks December 25, 1994
Assists 15 vs. Indiana Pacers November 30, 1990
Assists 15 vs. Washington Wizards March 16, 2002
Steals 9 vs. Atlanta Hawks March 8, 1994
Turnovers 12 (OT) at New Jersey Nets February 25, 1990
Turnovers 12 at Houston Rockets January 30, 1996
Minutes played (Playoffs) 56 (3 OT) vs. Phoenix Suns June 13, 1993


  • 21 career triple-doubles (17 regular season, 4 playoffs)
  • Led the league in steals (232) and steals per game (2.94) in 1994–95.
  • His 10 NBA All-Defensive honors and 8 NBA All-Defensive First Team honors are one shy of the NBA record.
  • Member of the Olympic gold medal winning USA Men's National Basketball Teams in 1992 ("Dream Team I", Barcelona, Spain) and 1996 ("Dream Team III", Atlanta, USA)
  • Pippen is one of two NBA players known to have recorded 5 steals and 5 blocks in a playoff game, which he did against the Detroit Pistons on May 19, 1991. Hakeem Olajuwon performed the feat twice.

NBA records[edit]

Set with Michael Jordan[edit]

Ninth pair of teammates in NBA history to score 40 or more points in the same game: Chicago Bulls (110) at Indiana Pacers (102), February 18, 1996

  • Pippen: 40 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 steals in 44 minutes
  • Jordan: 44 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks in 42 minutes

One of at least two pairs of teammates in NBA history to record triple-doubles in the same game: Chicago Bulls (126) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (121), January 3, 1989 (OT)

  • Pippen: 15 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists (and 2 steals) in 42 minutes
  • Jordan: 41 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists (and 6 steals) in 47 minutes
  • Jason Kidd and Vince Carter achieved this feat as well on April 7, 2007


Steals, career: 395

Steals, quarter: 4, third quarter, vs. Milwaukee Bucks, April 29, 1990

  • Tied with many other players

Other records[edit]

One of three players in NBA history to record 200 steals and 100 blocked shots in a season: 211 steals, 101 blocks (1989–90)

Second player in NBA history to lead his team in all 5 major statistics: 1,692 points, 639 rebounds, 409 assists, 232 steals and 89 blocks (1994–95)

Only player in history to win a NBA championship and Olympic gold medal in the same year twice (1992 and 1996)

Chicago Bulls franchise records[edit]

Note: Pippen is second in most career totals for the Bulls, both in the regular season and playoffs, trailing only Michael Jordan.

Regular season[edit]

Highest field goal percentage, game: .941 (16–17), vs. Charlotte Hornets, February 23, 1991

Three-point field goal attempts, career: 2,031

Personal fouls, career: 2,534

Turnovers, game: 12, twice
12, at New Jersey Nets, February 25, 1990 (OT)
12, at Houston Rockets, January 30, 1996


Three-point field goals made, career: 161

Three-point field goals made, game: 7, at Utah Jazz, June 6, 1997

Three-point field goals made, quarter: 4, second quarter, at Utah Jazz, June 6, 1997

Three-point field goals made, overtime: 1, at New York Knicks, May 11, 1996

Three-point field goal attempts, career: 531

Three-point field goal attempts, overtime: 3, at New York Knicks, May 11, 1996

Rebounds, career: 1,366

Rebounds, overtime: 3, vs. New Jersey Nets, April 24, 1998

Offensive rebounds, overtime: 2, vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, May 5, 1989

Defensive rebounds, overtime: 2, vs. New Jersey Nets, April 24, 1998

  • Tied with other players

Assists, overtime: 2, at New York Knicks, May 9, 1989

  • Tied by Derrick Rose

Steals, quarter: 4, third quarter, vs. Milwaukee Bucks, April 29, 1990

Blocked shots, career: 171

Physical stats[edit]

  • Height: 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m)[a]
  • Arm span: 88 inches (2.2 m)
  • Weight (beginning of NBA career): 212 pounds (96 kg)[13]
  • Weight (end of NBA career): 228 pounds (103 kg)
  • Shoe size: 14 US[13]

See also[edit]


  • a has listed Pippen at both 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)[2] and 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m).[14]


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External links[edit]