There’s no doubt that Scottie Pippen was one of the greatest basketball players. He still thinks he’s underappreciated and do you remember that he ranked only 122nd on the salary list at top of his game? Pip claimed that general manager Jerry Krause and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf had disrespected him by using him as trade bait, paying him only about 2.7 million a year under terms of a contract extension he signed in 1991. Bulls Management forgot the fact that when Scottie Pippen was there alone in 1994 and 1995, without Michael Jordan.
There never was anything like the coming together of Michael’s brilliance with Pippen’s grace on court. Pippen arrived at Bulls in 1987 and always deferred to Jordan throughout his career but still etched his name in NBA history. “He pushed me to be the best basketball player I could be in practice. And I pushed him to be the best Scottie Pippen he could be.” Jordan said of Scottie.
But Scottie always had a “salty” side of him because of his contract issues and how he got treated by the Bulls front office in the 90s. Surprisingly the most memorable one was when he left Bulls in ’99 to join the Rockets and teaming up with Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon. Not more than a couple of months, Pippen and Barkley sparked a beef called “Sorry Fat Butt.”
“If anything, he owes me an apology for coming to play with his sorry fat butt.” Pippen once said of Chuckster. Pip slammed Barkley for being out of shape in Rockets training camp. Talks were underway to send Pippen to Portland TrailBlazers. The move made Pippen look like a troublemaker, and an uncontrollable ego to share the same locker room with Barkley and Olajuwon, and he was getting paid really well compared to Bulls’ 2.7 million. A 5 year 67.2 million contract for an injured 34-year-old guy? Houston Rockets’ front office probably lost their mind in the 1999 lockout. “I probably should’ve listened to Michael Jordan a year ago when he said that Charles will never win a championship because he doesn’t show any dedication,” Pippen said of Sir Charles.
Meanwhile, Charles Barkley was annihilating young players in Rockets for their cell phones and for watching music videos before games instead of video game tapes.
Now, both seem friends but it was the war of words in 1999-2000 between Pippen and Barkley. Yes, both feuded in the past.