Last Sunday, the first of two episodes of the highly anticipated ‘The Last Dance,’ is focused on the final season of the Chicago Bulls dynasty in the late 1990s. The second episode zeros in on Scottie Pippen, who missed part of the season due to an injury to his ankle towards the end of the 1996-1997 season.
“I had a ruptured tendon in my ankle, and I decided to have surgery late because I was like, ‘You know what? I’m not gonna f*** my summer up trying to rehab for a season, you know?’” Pippen said in the documentary. “They’re not gonna be looking forward to having me, so I’ ma enjoy my summer, and I’ll use the season to prepare.”
Pippen wasn’t happy with his contract with the Bulls, and they weren’t willing to renegotiation as he was only making $2.8 million, which made him the 122nd highest-paid player in the NBA [1997-98 season].
Before the Bulls started winning championships and Scottie Pippen was still on his rookie deal in the early 90s, GOOD Music and Taylor Gang affiliate Malik Yusef and a group of his friends were Scottie Pippen’s security detail.
“It weird because that is the time when I was a teenager, so experience it from a fan standpoint, but I did see my OGs and my uncles were experience from being in the mix with these guys. It was amazing because I got the unique opportunity to know Scottie Pippen very well. His sister moved in down the street from my house when he came to play for the Bulls, said Yusef. ‘My team and I served as a guard and protection agency for them. The energy was so high it was palpable being able to see these people that you see on television. You must understand that it was a time when the television would still go off.”
Scottie Receives a Major payday From Houston Rockets in 1999.
After Scottie Pippen’s seven-year deal with the Chicago Bulls worth $18 million came to an end. The Bulls decided to trade Pippen to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Roy Rogers and a 2nd round pick in the 2000 NBA draft, according to Anthony Duckett of spacecityscoop.com, which turned into Jake Voskuhl out of the University of Connecticut.
Per Dukett, Pippen signed a 5-year deal worth “$82 million over the course of five years, with $15 million in incentives.” Pippen would average $11 million a year in Houston with the Rockets. After Pippen was traded to Houston, it would pair him up with future Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon in Clutch City. However, If it wasn’t for Barkley renegotiating his deal, the trade for Pippen couldn’t be completed.
Unfortunately, the trio of Barkley, Pippen, and Olajuwon were only teammates for one season before the Rockets shipped Pippen to Portland for a total of six players Stacey Augmon, Kelvin Cato, Walt Williams, Brian Shaw, Ed Gray, and Carlos Rogers, according to Ryan Gaskin of ripcityproject.com.