Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen won six championships alongside who many consider the greatest basketball player that ever lived in Michael Jordan. Pippen was draft out or Central Arkansas by the Seattle SuperSonics fifth overall in the 1987 NBA draft, but was immediately traded to the Bulls in exchange for Olden Polynice and future draft pick options, according to Thunder Wire. Pippen would go on to play 6 seasons with three different teams.
During the time would rack up accolades such being selected to 10 All-Defensive teams, seven All-Star appearances, seven All-NBA teams, won the 1993-94 MVP awards, two Gold Medals, and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA History.
Pippen’s first stint with the Bulls became rocky after he signed his second contract which was a seven-year deal worth on with $18 million. Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and his agent at the time Jimmy Sexton warned Pippen not to sign that contract because he could make more money on a shorter deal. The league’s revenue was ascending upwards and players would also benefit in their contracts.
“I do recall it was a longer contract than I thought was smart with him,” Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf said in the documentary. “I said to Scottie the same thing I said to Michael: ‘If I were you, I wouldn’t be signing this deal. You could be selling yourself short. It’s too long of a deal.’”
Pippen wanted the sure thing to be able to put his family in a better situation. Reinsdorf also shared with Pippen, if signed the contract he would not be renegotiating it until it was completed.
“An NBA agent told me Scottie Pippen’s agents back then were Jimmy Sexton and Kyle Rote. They recommended Pippen not take the bad deal from Bulls, which is why he stayed loyal to them. Agent added that Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf also was not big on giving opt-outs in contracts,” ESPN’s Marc J. Spears tweeted.
So, in the final year of Pippen’s deal, he was only making $2.8 million, which was the sixth-highest paid player on the Bulls and 122nd in the league, according to the film.
After the season, Pippen was first traded to the Houston Rockets, where he signed a five-year deal worth $82 million following a sign a trade that sent Roy Rogers and a second-round draft pick in the 2000 NBA Draft in exchange for Pippen.
However, he would be traded again to Portland a couple of months later in exchange for Stacey Augmon, Kelvin Cato, Ed Gray, Carlos Rogers, Brian Shaw, and Walt Williams, according to the Washington Post.
Pippen would play three seasons in Portland before returning to Chicago in 2003 on a one year deal worth $10 million, according to NBA.com.
“I’ve always been a Bull in my heart, and now I will play where my heart is. I love this city and the Chicago fans, and even if I’ve had my highs and lows with this organization, I’m comfortable here and confident in the people in place today.”
One of the Bulls players that was able to learn from Pippen that season was Jamal Crawford. Crawford learned how to be a professional from the six-time NBA Champion during Pippen’s final season in Chicago.
“I played with Scottie [Pippen] final season with the Bulls in 2003 and what I learned from his was just his knowledge, know-how, and him always thinking the game. I think he was great for the younger guys coming up because he would always tell us what he saw,” said Crawford. “He would teach players how to read different situations and his work ethic. So, those are the main stories with him, but he was a great teacher for the young guys and it really helped progress a lot of the young guys in our careers.”