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Scottie Pippen
Lipofsky Pippen.jpg
Pippen with the Chicago Bulls in 1995.
Personal information
Full name Scotty Maurice Pippen
Born September 25, 1965 (1965-09-25) (age 56)
Hamburg, Arkansas
Nationality Flag of the United States.png American
Physical stats
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 228 lbs (103 kg)
Career information
Position Small Forward
High school Hamburg
(Hamburg, Arkansas)
College Central Arkansas (1983–1987)
NBA Draft 1987 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics
Playing career 1987–2004 (17 years), 2008
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

Scotty Maurice Pippen (born September 25, 1965), usually spelled Scottie Pippen, is an American former professional basketball player. He played 17 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), winning six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. Pippen, along with teammate Michael Jordan, played an important role in transforming the Bulls into a championship team and in popularizing the NBA around the world during the 1990s.[1]

Pippen was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight 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 NBA season, and is one of four players to have their jerseys retired by the Chicago Bulls (the others being Jerry Sloan, Bob Love, and Michael Jordan). During his seventeen-year career, he played twelve seasons with the Bulls, one with the Rockets and four with the Trail Blazers, making the postseason sixteen straight times. He is third on the list of most postseason games played, behind Robert Horry and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Pippen is also the only person to have won both NBA championship and Olympic gold medal in the same year twice.[2] Pippen was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, and was formally inducted on August 13th.[3]

Early life

Scottie Pippen was born in Arkansas Hamburg, Arkansas, and attended college at the University of Central Arkansas. At the start of his college career, the then 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Pippen was a walk-on for the now-former NAIA school and depended on his stipend for being the team manager and his summer job as a welder to fund his education.[1] He eventually reached 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)[4]. Pippen's 23.6 points per game average and near 60% field goal shooting earned the Central Arkansas senior Consensus NAIA all-American honors in 1987.

NBA career

Early career (1987–1990)

He was selected fifth overall in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics and traded eventually to the Chicago Bulls for Olden Polynice.

Pippen became part of Chicago's young forward tandem with 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) power forward Horace Grant, though both came off the bench to back up Brad Sellers and Charles Oakley, respectively, during their rookie seasons. Pippen claimed the starting small forward position during the 1988 Playoffs, helping the Michael Jordan-led Bulls reach their 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,[5] recording then-career highs in points (16.5 points per game), rebounds (6.7 rebounds per game), field goal shooting (48.9%) as well as the NBA's number three leader in steals (211).[5] These feats earned Pippen his debut NBA All-Star selection in 1990.[5] Pippen continued to improve, helping the Bulls to the Conference Finals the 1989 as well as in 1990. However, in the Conference Finals versus the Detroit Pistons, Pippen suffered from severe migraines during the deciding seventh game as the Bulls were defeated.[6]

The Bulls' first three-peat (1991–1993)

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 (Template:Nbafy, Template:Nbafy and Template:Nbafy).

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 gold medal, both Pippen and Michael Jordan would become the first players to win both NBA championship and Olympic gold medal in the same year.[2]

Pippen without Jordan (1993–1995)

Michael Jordan retired before the 1993–94 NBA 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 the entire league in steals, averaging 22.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.9 steals, 1.9 three-pointers, and 0.8 blocks per game, while shooting 49.1% from the field and a career-best 32% from the three-point line. For his efforts, he earned the first of three straight All-NBA First Team nods, and he finished third in the MVP voting. The Bulls finished the season with 55 wins, only two fewer than the year before.

However, perhaps the most infamous episode of Pippen's career came in the post-season of Pippen's 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 in each of the previous three seasons. On May 13, 1994, down 0–2 in the series and tied 102-102 in Game Three, 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, Jackson designed the last play for rookie Toni Kukoc, with Pippen charged with inbounding 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.[7] "Scottie asked out of the play," Jackson would tell reporters moments later in the post-game interview room.[8]

Teammate Steve Kerr elaborated when recently 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."

The Bulls went on to lose the 1994 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Knicks in seven games. 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.[9] This helped lead the Knicks to a seven game series victory. Because of Hollins' foul call, all seven games in the series were won by the home team and the Knicks had home court advantage.

Trade rumors involving Pippen escalated during the 1994 offseason. 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 attributed 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 MJ 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: assists, rebounds, points, steals, and blocks; Pippen is one of only four players in NBA history to accomplish this feat.[1][10]

The Bulls' second three-peat (1995–1998)

With the return of Jordan and the addition of two-time champion Dennis Rodman, the Bulls managed to post 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 would become the first (and to this date, the only) person to win NBA championship and Olympic gold medal in the same year twice, playing for Team USA at the Atlanta Olympics.[2]

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 Fifty Greatest Players when the league was celebrating its fiftieth season in 1997.

Later career (1998–2004)

After being in Chicago for 11 seasons, Pippen, got balled on by Jordan in scrimage but hes also, 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 a lot of publicity including his only solo cover of Sports Illustrated.[11] He teamed with Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley, but there were chemistry problems especially with Barkley.[12] In that season, the Rockets went 31–19, but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, 3 games to 1.

On April 22, 1999, Pippen was detained under suspicion of driving while intoxicated,[13] but the charges were later dropped due to insufficient evidence.

File:Scottie Pippen in Finland.jpg

Pippen playing in Europe, 2008

Following the lockout-shortened season in Houston, Pippen was traded in the offseason 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 in the fourth quarter of the final game. Pippen played on for several more seasons in Portland, but they never again advanced that far in the playoffs. After the 2002–03 he signed once more with the Chicago Bulls, but due to injury problems 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 postseason during his career, reaching the playoffs 16 straight years (11 with Chicago, one with Houston, four with Portland). He played in more playoff games than any NBA player except Robert Horry and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


File:Pippin headshot.jpg

Scottie Pippen, 2009

After retiring, he spent some time working as a basketball analyst for the Chicago Bulls. He was a special assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. On December 25, 2005, Pippen debuted as studio analyst for the NBA on ABC. Before this he was a part-time analyst for ESPN.

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 jersey number, 33, joined Michael Jordan's 23, Jerry Sloan's 4, and Bob Love's 10 as the only numbers retired by the Bulls.

In January 2008, Pippen made a comeback to 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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[14]

According to Investopedia, since retirement Pippen has lost $120 million in career earnings because of poor financial planning and bad business deals. Investment busts account for $27 million of the lost fortune.[16]

Pippen returned to the Bulls on July 15, 2010 as an ambassador to the team.[17]

Player profile

Pippen was renowned for his defensive abilities, having made the NBA All Defensive Team 10 times during his career and once leading the league in steals. Phil Jackson once described him as a "one man wrecking crew, capable of guarding anyone from the point guard to the five 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 career steals by a forward (2,307, as well as in the playoffs (395).

See also

  • List of Former NBA Players


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Scottie Pippen Bio". Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Smith, Sam (August 4,1996). "DREAM TEAM'S SLEEPWALK ENDS WITH GOLD MEDAL". Chicago Tribune: p. 1. 
  3. "Scottie Pippen Info Page". Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  4. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "1990–91 Hoops - Scottie Pippen". Hoops. NBA Properties, Inc.. 1990. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  5. Great Scottie. Retrieved on August 10, 2010.
  6. Template:YouTube
  7. MacMullan, Jackie. "Pippen's Paradox". Sports Illustrated. 
  8. Brown, Clifton (1994-05-19). "Knicks Get a Break and Then Davis Does the Rest". The New York Times. 
  9. "Why LeBron James is the 2009 NBA MVP". Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  10., SI Covers Search, accessed February 9, 2008 Note: enter Scottie Pippen in the SI Covers Search box
  11. 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. 
  12. Associated Press (April 22, 1999). "Pippen arrested on suspicion of DWI". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 9, 2008. 
  13. 14.0 14.1 Richardson, Egan (January 14, 2008). "Pippen puts his game on display in Scandinavia". 
  14. Associated Press (January 5, 2008). "Pippen, 42, scores nine points in Finnish league". 
  15. Riddix, Mark (March 10, 2010). "Seven costly pro athlete screw-ups". Yahoo! Sports. 
  16. Associated Press (July 15, 2010). "Pippen becomes Bulls ambassador". Yahoo! Sports.;_ylt=Arl.dHXA6OSHmIfx3dLK7waLvLYF?slug=ap-bulls-pippen&print=1. 

External links