Scottie Maurice Pippen (1965– )

Scottie Pippen, 1995
Courtesy Steve Lipofsky of (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Scottie Pippen, 1995
“Image Ownership: Steve Lipofsky of”

Scottie Maurice Pippen is a retired American professional basketball player formerly with the National Basketball Association (NBA). Pippen was best known for playing with the Chicago Bulls, teaming with Michael Jordan to lead them to win six NBA championships in the 1990s. Pippen also played for the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers as well as two European basketball teams, Torpan Pojat and Sundsvall Dragons.

Pippen was born on September 25, 1965, in Hamburg, Arkansas, the youngest of Preston and Ethel Pippen’s twelve children. Pippen played both football and basketball and during his senior year at Hamburg High School, he led his team to the state playoffs and earned all-conference honors. During his time in high school, he stood just 6’1” and weighed about 150 pounds.  College coaches deemed him too thin, and consequently no college offered him a basketball scholarship.

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) offered him a chance to become student manager of their basketball team, mainly as a favor to his high school coach. During his freshman year, however, Pippen made the basketball team as a walk-on. Over the next four years, Pippen grew in height from 6’1” to 6’8” and by his senior season at UCA, Pippen averaged 23.6 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Pippin was selected fifth overall in the 1987 NBA draft by the Seattle Supersonics who quickly traded him to the Chicago Bulls for Olden Polynice and a future draft pick. There he first teamed with Michael Jordan. Pippen’s NBA rookie season was modest at best, but in his sophomore season, 1988-89, he became a starter on the team and helped the Bulls to become a major playoff contender.

Pippen and Jordan led the Bulls to six NBA championships in the 1990s, with two “three-peats” (three year back-to-back championships) in 1991, 1992, and 1993, and 1996, 1997, and 1998. Pippen was known for his versatility as a scorer and defensive player which earned him seven All-Star appearances and an eight-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team. He was part of the Olympics “dream team” in men’s basketball which included Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and many other great NBA players who won the gold medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics games in Barcelona, Spain. Pippen won a second gold medal playing for the U.S. men basketball team in the 1996 Summer Olympics games in Atlanta. During the 1996–1997 NBA season, Pippen was named one of the fifty greatest players in NBA history.

Scottie Pippen briefly played for the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers before returning to the Chicago Bulls for the 2003-2004 NBA season—his final season in the league. In 2008 he made a brief comeback to professional basketball when he played with the Finnish league team, Torpan Pojat, and the Swedish league team, Sundsvall Dragons. In 2010 he was introduced to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Pippen has been married twice. In 1988 he married Karen McCollum whom he divorced in 1990.  The couple had one son, Antron. Pippen married Larsa Younan in 1997. They have four children, Sophia, Justin, Preston, and Scottie Jr. Pippen also has a daughter name Sierra with former fiancée Yvette De Leon, and twin daughters, Taylor and Tyler from a previous relationship with model Sonya Roby. One of the daughters, Tyler, died nine days after birth on July 29, 1994.