||This article may contain original research. (July 2011)|
Scottie 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.
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). 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). Pippen was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on August 13, 2010.
Early life 
Scottie Pippen was born on September 25, 1965, in Hamburg, Arkansas, the youngest of 12 children born to Ethel and Preston Pippen (? – May 10, 1990). He 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", 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.
NBA career 
Early career (1987–90) 
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. 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. 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, 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). These feats earned Pippen his debut NBA All-Star selection in 1990. 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.
The Bulls' first three-peat (1991–93) 
In 1991, Pippen emerged as the Bulls' primary defensive stopper and a versatile scoring threat in Phil Jackson's 'triangle offense'. He helped lead the Bulls to their first three NBA championships (1991, 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.
Pippen without Jordan (1993–95) 
Michael Jordan retired before the 1993-94 season, 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.
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. "Scottie asked out of the play," Jackson told reporters moments later in the post-game interview.
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]
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.
However, the Bulls went on to lose the 1994 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Knicks in 7. A key play occurred in the series at the end of Game 5 when Pippen was called by referee Hue Hollins for a questionable touch foul on the Knicks' Hubert Davis in the waning seconds of the game, which allowed the Knicks to shoot the game-winning free throws. This helped lead the Knicks to a seven-game series victory. All seven games were won by the home team, and the Knicks had home court advantage.
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).
The Bulls' second three-peat (1996–98) 
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 (and to this date, the only) person to win an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal in the same year twice, playing for Team USA at the Atlanta Olympics.
In the following season, Chicago finished a league-best 69–13 and again won the title, this time defeating the Utah Jazz. Amid speculation that the 1997–98 season would be the last in Chicago for Pippen, Jordan, and Jackson, the Bulls followed up by topping the Jazz again in the 1998 NBA Finals to cap their second three-peat. Pippen was selected as one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players when the league was celebrating its 50th season in 1997.
Later career (1998–2004) 
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. He teamed with Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley, but there were chemistry problems, especially with Barkley. In that season, the Rockets went 31–19, but lost to the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, 3–1.
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 suit up 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.
The 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. 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. 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.
Player profile 
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (June 2010)|
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. 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.
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 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 has been married twice; once to Karen McCollum (m. 1988, d. 1990), and currently to Larsa Younan (m. 1997). He has five children.
His current wife, Larsa, starred in the TV show The Real Housewives of Miami.
Career statistics 
Career highs 
|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||10–10||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)
- Selected in 1996 as one of the "50 Greatest Players in NBA History"
- Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. The 1992 Olympic Basketball "Dream Team", of which he was a member, was also elected to the Hall of Fame in 2010.
- 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 
Set with Michael Jordan 
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 
One of three players in NBA history to record 200 steals and 100 blocked shots in a season: 211 steals, 101 blocks (1989–90)
- Michael Jordan (1986–87, 1987–88) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1988–89) are the only other players to do so.
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)
- Dave Cowens (Boston Celtics, 1977–78), Kevin Garnett (Minnesota Timberwolves, 2002–03) and LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers, 2008–09) are the only other players to do so.
Chicago Bulls franchise records 
Note: Pippen is second in most career totals for the Bulls, both in the regular season and playoffs, trailing only Michael Jordan.
Regular season 
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
- Tied by Derrick Rose
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
- Tied with Horace Grant
Blocked shots, career: 171
See also 
- List of National Basketball Association career scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career assists leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career steals leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career turnovers leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff rebounding leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff assists leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff steals leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff blocks leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff turnovers leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff 3-point scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff free throw scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association players with 1000 games played
- List of National Basketball Association players with 9 or more steals in a game
- "Scottie Pippen Bio". NBA.com. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- Smith, Sam (August 4, 1996). "DREAM TEAM'S SLEEPWALK ENDS WITH GOLD MEDAL". Chicago Tribune. p. 1.
- "Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2010" (Press release). Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. 2010-04-05. Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- Smith, Sam (May 13, 1990). "Bulls' Pippen may miss Sunday's game". Chicago Tribune. p. C12.
- "Scottie Pippen Info Page". NBA.com. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- "Scottie Pippen Biography". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Scottie Pippen career transactions
- "1990–91 Hoops – Scottie Pippen". Hoops. NBA Properties, Inc. 1990. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- Great Scottie. Retrieved on August 10, 2010.
- Toni Kukoc beats NYK @ d buzzer (94Playoffs) -by SoleRecords on YouTube
- MacMullan, Jackie. "Pippen's Paradox". Sports Illustrated.
- Brown, Clifton (1994-05-19). "Knicks Get a Break and Then Davis Does the Rest". The New York Times.
- "Why LeBron James is the 2009 NBA MVP". NBA.com. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- si.cnn.com, SI Covers Search, accessed February 9, 2008 Note: enter Scottie Pippen in the SI Covers Search box
- Wise, Mike (October 3, 1999). "PRO BASKETBALL: NOTEBOOK; Pippen, on His Way to Portland, Takes a Parting Shot at Barkley". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
- "Pippen arrested on suspicion of DWI". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. April 22, 1999. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
- "Pippen, 42, scores nine points in Finnish league". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 5, 2008.
- "Pippen becomes Bulls ambassador". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. July 15, 2010.
- Pippen appointed Senior Advisor to the President & COO
- Harvey Araton (June 14, 1997). "Let Us Now Praise Pippen". NY Times.
- Tuesday, February 22, 2011, by Sarah Firshein (2011-02-22). "Scottie Pippen and His Real Housewife List Floridian Estate - Celebrity Real Estate - Curbed National". Curbed.com. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- Scottie Pippen. NBA Encyclopedia. Retrieved on July 23, 2012.
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
- Scottie Pippen at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
- Scottie Pippen at DatabaseBasketball.com
- NBA.com: Scottie Pippen Summary