Like so many athletes from his time, Chicago Bulls icon Scottie Pippen ran into financial difficulties when his career ended.
Although Pippen earned his fair share of money in the NBA, his lesser salaries with the Chicago Bulls were a central talking point in The Last Dance. Pippen’s cash issues followed him into the early years of his retirement.
Things got so bad for Pippen at one point that he earned nearly $80,000 in government checks for his personal farm.
Scottie Pippen is a Chicago Bulls legend
The Robin to Michael Jordan’s Batman, Scottie Pippen had an excellent 17-season career in the NBA.
Across 1,178 games and 1,053 starts, Pippen averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and two steals per night. Pippen shot 47.3% from the field and hit 32.6% of his tries from three-point range.
A seven-time All-Star, Pippen appeared on seven All-NBA teams and 10 All-Defensive teams.
The Bulls’ starting small forward during the dynasty years, Pippen averaged 17.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, five assists, 1.9 steals, and just under one block per night in 208 career playoff games. Pippen won six championships with the Chicago Bulls.
Now an NBA analyst for ESPN, Pippen also played for the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers.
Scottie Pippen made a great deal of money in the NBA
Because he regularly took lesser money to remain on the Chicago Bulls during the dynasty years, there remains a misconception that Scottie Pippen didn’t make much money in the NBA.
According to Basketball-Reference, Pippen made nearly $110 million across his 17 seasons. Most of that money came after Pippen signed a five-year, $67 contract before the 1998-99 season.
Pippen made $11 million in his first year with the Rockets, then received at least $13.7 million in each of the next four seasons. The seven-time All-Star played all four of those campaigns on the Portland Trail Blazers.
Pippen entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in August 2010. The Chicago Bulls retired Pippen’s No. 33 in December 2005, nearly two years after he played his final game for the red and white.
Pippen earned nearly $80,000 in government checks for his farm
Scottie Pippen ran into serious financial problems during the 2000s, both during his final NBA seasons and after he retired.
According to a 2008 article from CNBC, Pippen lost $27 million in bad investments. As of February 2008, Pippen owed $5 million to a bank because of a dispute that he had with a private jet company.
Pippen and his wife bought an 18,700-square foot mansion for $4 million in 2000 but later sold it for $2.95 million.
CNBC reported that from 2003-05, Pippen earned nearly $80,000 in government checks for his farm.
Pippen’s farm was in the news again in 2018, when the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that people stole more than $50,000 of equipment, including two tractors, from his farm in Hamburg, Ark.
All stats and contract figures courtesy of Basketball-Reference.