Scottie Pippen announces retirement
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Seven-time All-Star and six-time World Champion
Scottie Pippen announced his retirement from the Chicago Bulls Tuesday.
“This was a very difficult decision for me to retire from playing a game that
has been such a great part of my life,” Pippen said. “My family and I would
like to thank the fans and the entire Chicago Bulls organization, especially
Jerry Reinsdorf and John Paxson, for bringing me back to where I started.”
Pippen, who has one year worth $5 million left on the two-year deal he signed
last year, reportedly told the Chicago Times that he would not waive
that salary, forcing the Bulls to buy out the final year.
Pippen spent 12 seasons in Chicago and helped guide the Bulls to six NBA
Championships in the 1990’s. He was named an All-Star seven times while he
played for the Bulls.
The 39-year-old Pippen was an unrestricted free agent after the 2002-03
campaign and returned to the Bulls. Injuries limited him to just 23 games last
season for Chicago.
The 17-year veteran agreed to come back and re-sign with Chicago so he could
end his career where it first started and help mentor the young players
currently on the Bulls.
“I am retiring, but I still plan on being around for training camp to help
this team,” Pippen added. “After 17 years, it’s tough for me to just walk away
Pippen left the Bulls on bad terms after the 1998 season following their sixth
title in eight years. After head coach Phil Jackson left and Michael Jordan
retired for the second time, Pippen was sent to Houston in a sign-and-trade
deal by former general manager Jerry Krause. Chicago acquired Roy Rogers and a
conditional second-round draft pick for Pippen.
“Scottie Pippen is one of the greatest Chicago Bulls of all time,” Bulls
chairman Reinsdorf said. “His contributions to this franchise during his
tenure here have been innumerable.”
The Central Arkansas product spent the 1999 campaign in Houston where he
averaged 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game.
Pippen, who was named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players, was then traded to
Portland on October 2, 1999 for Walt Williams, Stacey Augmon, Kelvin Cato, Ed
Gray, Carlos Rogers and Brian Shaw. He had spent the past four seasons in
Pippen was drafted with the fifth overall choice by Seattle in 1987, but his
draft rights were immediately traded to Chicago in exchange for Olden Polynice
and future draft picks.
He was a member of both the 1992 and 1996 gold medal-winning United States
Olympic Basketball Teams. Pippen has also been named to the All-NBA First Team
three times as well as being named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team a total
of eight times.
“Scottie Pippen is the epitome of a true professional,” Bulls executive vice
president of basketball operations Paxson said. “He is a great teammate and
a winner who is one of the best to ever wear a Bulls uniform.”
For his career, Pippen has averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists
in 1,178 contests. In 208 career playoff games, Pippen averaged 17.5 points,
7.6 assists and 5.0 rebounds.