Who Is Scottie Pippen?
Originally a walk-on at the University of Central Arkansas, Scottie Pippen became one of college basketball’s best players and was selected fifth overall in the 1987 NBA draft. During the 1990s, he teamed up with Michael Jordan to lead the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles.
Early Years and College Career
Hall of Fame NBA forward Scottie Maurice Pippen was born on September 25, 1965, in Hamburg, Arkansas. The youngest of Preston and Ethel Pippen's 12 children, Pippen played both football and basketball as a young boy.
During his senior year at Hamburg High School, he led the team to the state playoffs and earned all-conference honors. Perhaps scared off by his slight frame — he stood just 6'1" and weighed 150 pounds — no college offered him a basketball scholarship.
As a favor to his high school coach, the University of Central Arkansas offered Pippen a chance to become a student manager of the basketball team. During his freshman year, however, Pippen ended up making the team as a walk-on. Over the next four seasons, Pippen's growth in height — he eventually stood 6'8" — was matched by his stature among other top-level NCAA players. During his senior season at UCA, Pippen averaged 23.6 points and 10 rebounds per game.
With his wide wingspan and seemingly unmatched ability to defend, score and rebound at will, Pippen was a favorite among NBA scouts. In the 1987 NBA Draft, the Seattle Supersonics selected the forward with the fifth overall pick. Just a few weeks later, Pippen was traded to the Chicago Bulls for eventual journeyman Olden Polynice and a draft pick, to team up with Michael Jordan and a crew of other young players.
Following a modest rookie year, Pippen blossomed during the 1988-89 season — his first as a starter — helping turn a struggling Bulls club into a playoff contender.
In the spring of 1991, Pippen and Jordan led the Bulls to the first of three consecutive NBA titles, defeating Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals. Over the next seven seasons, the Bulls continued to win, capturing six NBA titles in all. While Jordan was the face of the team's success, Pippen, with his versatility as a scorer and defensive player, was nearly as vital to the club's run.
The Dream Team
In 1992, Pippen joined Jordan, Magic, Larry Bird and a slew of other NBA greats to form the first Olympic "Dream Team." The club won the gold medal at the Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain, and in Atlanta in 1996, Pippen won Olympic gold for a second time. That same year, he was named one of the "50 Greatest Players in NBA History."
Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers
After short stints with the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers, Pippen returned to Chicago for the 2003-04 season — his final year in the NBA.
Over the course of his 17-year career, Pippen was a seven-time All-Star and eight-time member of the NBA's All Defensive First Team. In 2010, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Wife and Children
Pippen has been married twice and is the father of five children. Since retiring from the NBA, Pippen, who lives in Florida, has worked as a basketball analyst for the Bulls as well as for ESPN and ABC. Additionally, he's worked as a special assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Bulls.
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