When ESPN’s docu-series of “The Last Dance” dropped, the first couple of episodes had everybody shocked as to how Scottie Pippen was one of the most underpaid players in the entire NBA during the 1990s.
After winning six titles in Chicago, though, the 6-foot-8 swingman finally got what he deserved when he inked a $67 million deal in 1999 with the Houston Rockets.
That’s about as good as it got for Scottie in Houston. According to former Houston teammate Matt Bullard, Pippen basically didn’t care too much about the team:
“When Scottie Pippen left the Bulls, I didn’t realize that he was coming off of being very underpaid for seven years,” Bullard said on SportsTalk 970 in Houston, via Rockets Wire. “I didn’t know that he had that saltiness about being underpaid when he came to us. But I do remember, the rest of us — when Scottie came, and it was already after training camp had started a little bit — he came into Houston, and he never really did integrate himself into the Rockets’ organization.”
Bullard went on to explain why he disliked Pippen during their time together as teammates:
“He never really tried to make an effort to be a Houston Rocket. … He was coming in thinking, ‘Hey, I’m Michael Jordan.’ I mean, not really Michael Jordan, but ‘I’m Scottie Pippen.’ And the rest of us could feel that. Those types of things still stick with me. … Looking back on all the teammates I’ve had, I would say that Scottie Pippen was not one of my favorite teammates. Because when I did play with him, he wasn’t trying to be a Rocket. He was just trying to be the man, and it didn’t really work.”
Pippen only spent one unsuccessful year with the Rockets before they traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers the following year.
Scottie played 50 games with the Rockets during that lockout shortened season, averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists a game.
The team went 31-19 and lost in the first round to the Lakers.