Weight: 228 lbs.
College - Central Arkansas '87
One of the most versatile and talented players in basketball, 6-7 Scottie Pippen can pass like a point guard, rebound like a power forward, score like a shooting guard and run and jump like few others. He also ranks among the NBA's top defenders, and in 1996-97 he was honored as one of the "50 Greatest Players in NBA History." A key piece of the Chicago Bulls' six NBA championship clubs of the 1990s and a six-time All-Star, he has been honored with three selections to the All-NBA First Team as well as appearances on the Second Team and the Third Team. He also has been a member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team seven consecutive times. Pippen came to the NBA after four years at the University of Central Arkansas, an NAIA school. He averaged only 4.3 points as a freshman and received little attention for much of his college career, despite improving quickly and steadily. Finally, after averaging 23.6 points and 10.0 rebounds as a senior, Pippen found himself a hot commodity in the 1987 NBA Draft. The Seattle SuperSonics took Pippen with the fifth overall pick, then traded his rights to the Chicago Bulls for the rights to Olden Polynice and other considerations. Pippen put up modest numbers in his first season in the NBA. It was as a second-year player that Pippen began to show the variety of skills that have made him a superstar and a constant triple-double threat. In 1988-89 he logged 14.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He upped his numbers in each of the next three seasons, improving to 21.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game in 1991-92. Along the way, he played in two All-Star Games and earned two NBA championship rings. Although his stats declined slightly in 1992-93, he helped lift the club to its third straight NBA title. Following the surprise temporary retirement of Michael Jordan before the 1993-94 season, Pippen was thrust into the role of team leader. He recorded career highs of 22.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and guided the team to a surprising 55-27 record. Playing in his fourth All-Star Game, he scored 29 points in 31 minutes and was named the game's MVP. He also earned his first selection to the All-NBA First Team. He put up similar numbers in 1994-95, pouring in 21.4 points per game. Following the 1994-95 season, Pippen was named to the 1996 U.S. Dream Team which would win the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Pippen had another fine all-around season in 1995-96, helping Chicago set an NBA record with 72 victories and win its fourth championship of the 1990s. A solid scorer and defender, he led the Bulls in assists and set a career-high with 150 three-pointers. Pippen raised that to 156 three-pointers in 1996-97, when he led the team in assists and steals and finished second in scoring and rebounding in another display of his versatility as Chicago repeated as champion even though Pippen was hampered in the playoffs by a sore left foot. That injury forced him to miss the first 35 games of the 1997-98 season, but he bounced back strong and helped the Bulls to their third consecutive crown.
Pippen sat our the first 35 games of the season after undergoing surgery to repair his injured left foot, and later missed three more games due to tonsilitis and a kidney stone. Nevertheless, he played well enough in his 44 appearances to earn his accustomed place on the NBA All-Defensive First Team as well as a spot on the All-NBA Third Team. Pippen averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.80 steals and 0.98 blocked shots in 37.5 minutes per game. He led the team in assists and steals, ranked second in scoring and blocks and fourth in rebounding. He would have tied for ninth in the NBA in steals had he played enough to qualify for the league leaders, and on February 21 he moved past Magic Johnson into ninth place on the career steals list. He scored in double figures in 42 of the 44 games he played, getting 20 or more points 21 times and a season-high 33 at Toronto on February 22. He had season-highs of 11 rebounds against Boston on March 23, 10 assists on three occasions and four steals twice. He also had a career-high five blocked shots at Houston on April 5. In the playoffs, Pippen averaged 16.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.14 steals and 0.95 blocks in 39.8 minutes per game, leading the Bulls in assists, steals and blocks and ranking second in scoring and rebounding. He averaged 15.7 ppg in the Finals, including 28 points in Game 4 as Chicago took command of the series at 3-1 with an 86-82 victory over Utah.
Pippen had another brilliant season, averaging 20.2 points (18th in the NBA), 6.5 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.88 steals (13th in the NBA) in 37.7 minutes per game. He topped the Bulls in assists, steals and three-point field goals (156) and was second in scoring and rebounding. He was voted to the All-Defensive First Team for the sixth year in a row, but was dropped to the All-NBA Second Team behind forwards Karl Malone and Grant Hill. Pippen started all 82 games for the Bulls and scored in double figures in 78 of them, scoring 30 or more in eight games and getting a career-high 47 points in a 134-123 win over Denver on Feb. 18. He grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds in a 73-70 loss at Cleveland on Feb. 27, handed out a season-high 12 assists in a season-ending 103-101 loss to New York on April 19 and had a season-high seven steals in a 100-73 win over Milwaukee on Jan. 17. Voted to a starting berth in the All-Star Game, Pippen had eight points, three rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes of action. Pippen started all 19 playoff games and averaged 19.2 pooints, 6.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.47 steals per game, leading the Bulls with 39 three-pointers. He averaged 20.0 points, a team-high 8.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.67 steals per game in the Finals against Utah, getting 27 points in Game 1 and again in Game 3, when he matched an NBA record with seven three-pointers.
Pippen had no problem adjusting to the return of Jordan as the Bulls' primary scorer and enjoyed a banner all-around season. He led the team with 5.9 assists per game and a career-high total of 150 three-pointers made, ranked second on the team with 19.4 points, 1.73 steals and 0.74 blocks per game and was third on the team with 6.4 rebounds per game. The versatile Pippen started 77 games for Chicago, missing five games in March with tendinitis of the right knee, and was second on the team behind Jordan in minutes played at 36.7 per game. He had a pair of triple-doubles in November, getting 18 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists at Cleveland on Nov. 9 and 15 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists at San Antonio on Nov. 22. He then earned NBA Player of the Month honors for December by averaging 25.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.36 steals per game in the month. Voted a starter in the All-Star Game, he had eight points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in 25 minutes. Pippen scored a season-high 40 points at Indiana on Feb. 18, notched a season-high 14 rebounds on five occasions and handed out a season-high 14 assists at Charlotte on April 5. He scored 30 or more points seven times, including three in a row-30 at Atlanta on Dec. 14, 33 against the Lakers on Dec. 16 and 37 at Boston on Dec. 18. Pippen started all 18 games of the playoffs and averaged 16.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.61 steals in 41.3 minutes per game. He led the Bulls in assists, steals and three-pointers made (30) and attempted (105) in the playoffs and was second on the team in scoring and rebounding. He got his fourth career playoff triple double in Game 3 at Miami when he had 22 points, a career-high 18 rebounds and 10 assists.
With a superb season in 1994-95, Pippen continued to show why he is possibly the best all-around player in the NBA. Discounting the numbers put up by Michael Jordan in 17 late-season games, Pippen led the Chicago Bulls in five categories-scoring (21.4 ppg), rebounding (8.1 rpg), assists (5.2 apg), steals (2.94 per game), and blocked shots (1.13 per game). The last player to top his club in five categories before Pippen was Dave Cowens, who paced the Boston Celtics in 1977-78. On the league leaders' charts, Pippen placed first in steals, 12th in scoring, 23rd in rebounding, 23rd in assists, and 28th in blocked shots. For his efforts, he was rewarded with an All-Star berth and selection to both the All-NBA First Team and the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Pippen, who paced the club in scoring in 35 games, hit for a season-high 40 points on March 11 against the Los Angeles Lakers. He popped in 30 or more on eight occasions and pulled down a season-high 16 rebounds twice. On January 10 he recorded the 14th triple-double of his career with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and a season-high 11 assists against the Orlando Magic. Pippen sat out one game because of a suspension and missed a pair of games because of the flu. The Bulls finished the regular season at 47-35 to claim third place in the Central Division. They ousted the Charlotte Hornets in the first round of the playoffs before falling to the Orlando Magic in the conference semifinals. With Jordan back on the club, Pippen wasn't called on to provide quite as much of the offense, and his playoff scoring (17.8 ppg) was down a bit compared with his regular-season numbers. He led the club in rebounding (8.6 rpg) and assists (5.8 apg).
In 1993-94 Pippen was afforded the opportunity to step out of Michael Jordan's massive shadow into a spotlight all his own. Jordan's temporary retirement on October 6 meant that the Chicago Bulls would clearly be Pippen's team for a short while. For his part, the former Central Arkansas star enjoyed his finest statistical year as a pro, notching career bests in scoring (22.0 ppg), rebounding (8.7 rpg), and steals (2.93 per game). He was also selected to start in his third NBA All-Star Game (his fourth overall appearance). Pippen outshone all other All-Stars with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists and won the game's Most Valuable Player Award. Pippen finished the season ranked eighth in the league in scoring, second in steals, and 19th in assists. He led the Bulls in all three categories, ranked second on the team in rebounding, and led Chicago in scoring 50 times, in assists 35 times, and in rebounding 29 times. At season's end he was named to the All-NBA First Team and the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Perhaps the greatest testament to Pippen's abilities (and those of Coach Phil Jackson) was the fact that the Bulls finished at 55-27 and reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals despite not having Jordan on their roster. In Chicago's 10 postseason games, Pippen led the club in scoring (22.8 ppg), rebounding (8.3 rpg), and assists (4.6 apg). The Bulls lost in the conference semifinals to the New York Knicks, ending their three-year hold on the championship. Pippen's most embarrassing moment as a player came in Game 3 of the series against the Knicks. With the game tied at 102 apiece, Pippen decided to watch the final seconds from the bench after Jackson diagrammed a last-second play to go to Toni Kukoc and not Pippen. Kukoc cashed in on a 22-footer at the buzzer for a 104-102 Bulls win, but the headlines the following day centered around Pippen sitting, not Kukoc swishing.
As the 1992-93 season unfolded, Pippen's popularity continued to soar, in Chicago and around the league. NBA fans made him the second-leading vote-getter in balloting for the NBA All-Star Game, trailing only teammate Michael Jordan. He also earned his second straight berth on the NBA All-Defensive First Team as well as a spot on the All-NBA Third Team. Pippen logged four triple-doubles during the year en route to averages of 18.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game. He ranked 10th in the NBA in steals (2.14 per game) and 20th in assists. He had a consecutive-games streak snapped at 307 when he was suspended for one game after fighting with the Orlando Magic's Jeff Turner on February 25, but he bounced back to score a season-high 39 points against the San Antonio Spurs on March 5. Pippen played a workmanlike 41.5 minutes per game in the postseason, helping the Bulls to their third straight NBA title. He had his best series in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Knicks, averaging 22.5 points and 6.7 rebounds while shooting .510 from the floor.
Pippen established himself as one of the NBA's elite players in 1991-92. He appeared in his second NBA All-Star Game, originally selected as a reserve but eventually starting in place of the injured Larry Bird, and at season's end he landed on the All-NBA Second Team and the NBA All-Defensive First Team. He played for the United States Dream Team at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, and above all he helped lead the Bulls to their second consecutive NBA Championship. Pippen ranked 14th in the league in scoring (21.0 ppg) and 15th in assists (7.0 apg). He added 7.7 rebounds, 1.89 steals, and 1.13 blocks per game. His season highlights included a 41-point performance against the Bucks at Milwaukee on February 28 and a then career-high 18 rebounds against the Knicks at New York on March 31. During Chicago's march to a second straight title, the Bulls encountered their greatest roadblock in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, needing seven games to move past the New York Knicks. Pippen was pivotal in Game 7, recording his second playoff triple-double with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Pippen used the 1991 postseason to prove that the Chicago Bulls were no one-man gang. Although Michael Jordan carried the Bulls at times en route to their first-ever NBA Championship, Pippen was equally indispensable. He averaged 21.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 2.47 steals in 17 postseason games, leading Chicago in both rebounding and steals. In the fifth and final game of the 1991 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, Pippen contributed 32 points and 13 rebounds as the Bulls notched a 108-101 victory. The playoffs represented another step in Pippen's march to superstardom. He had done it all for the Bulls in the regular season, ranking second on the team in scoring (17.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg) while leading the club in assists (6.2 apg) and blocked shots (1.13 per game). His 2.35 steals per game ranked fifth in the NBA-second on the Bulls behind Jordan's 2.72-and helped earn him a berth on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. Pippen recorded three triple-doubles during the year and poured in a then career-high 43 points against the Charlotte Hornets on February 23. He became the first Bulls player other than Jordan to score 40 points in a game since George Gervin had 45 on January 27, 1986.
Pippen started all 82 games for the first time in his career, improving his production over the previous season in nearly every category. He began the year with a 22-game streak of double-figure scoring, including a season-high 28 points against the Boston Celtics on November 4. His best stretch came in December, when he averaged 18.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.4 assists while shooting .525 from the field. Eastern Conference coaches rewarded Pippen's all-around contributions when they selected him to play in his first NBA All-Star Game in 1990. He did double-duty at the NBA All-Star Weekend, also participating in the Slam-Dunk Championship and finishing fifth. For the season, Pippen ranked second on the Bulls in scoring (16.5 ppg) and third in the NBA in steals (2.57 per game), coming into his own as one of the league's best defensive players. The Bulls advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight season, but for the second straight season they lost to the Detroit Pistons, this time in seven games. Pippen was outstanding throughout the playoffs, averaging 19.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in 15 postseason games. He notched his first playoff triple-double with 17 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds in Game 1 of a first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Back surgery kept Pippen out of the entire preseason and the first eight games of 1988-89. He then came off the bench behind Brad Sellers in his first 16 appearances, averaging 9.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game. But Pippen moved into the starting lineup on December 27 and remained there for 56 of his final 57 games. The second-year forward finished with averages of 14.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. He scored 31 points twice during the year, the second time against the Seattle SuperSonics on March 25. He had season highs of 15 rebounds against the Trail Blazers at Portland on March 24 and 12 assists against the Los Angeles Clippers on January 3. In the game against the Clippers, Pippen recorded his first career triple-double, adding 15 points and 10 rebounds. He started all 17 postseason games, averaging 13.1 points as the Bulls advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Detroit Pistons in six games. Pippen played only 1 minute of Game 6 before taking a Bill Laimbeer elbow to the head.
In the months prior to the 1987 NBA Draft, Chicago Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause became impressed with the multidimensional talents of Scottie Pippen, a little-known player at the University of Central Arkansas. Pippen attracted attention from NBA scouts with averages of 23.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game as a senior, but he was still an unknown quantity compared to players in big-time college programs. The Bulls owned the eighth overall pick in the draft, but Pippen didn't last that long. The Seattle SuperSonics selected him at No. 5, behind the likes of David Robinson, Armon Gilliam, and Reggie Williams. Chicago picked Olden Polynice at No. 8, and Krause immediately got the trade winds blowing. By June 22 he had orchestrated a deal with the Sonics that sent Polynice and future draft considerations to Seattle in exchange for Pippen. The lanky 6-foot-7 rookie came off the bench in his first NBA season, playing a reserve role behind starting small forward Brad Sellers. Pippen averaged 7.9 points and 3.8 rebounds, shooting .463 from the field and .576 from the free-throw line. He had his best game on November 23 against the Boston Celtics, tallying 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 steals in 38 minutes. His 91 steals for the season ranked second on the Bulls to Michael Jordan's 259. Pippen began the postseason as a reserve, but he replaced Sellers in the starting lineup in the fifth and final game of a first-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Pippen responded with 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals in the Bulls' 107-101 victory, and Coach Doug Collins elected to keep him in a starting role for the next round. Chicago then lost to the Detroit Pistons in five games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.