Michael Jordan may be the GOAT, but there’s no doubt that Scottie Pippen helped him claim the honor. The retired NBA player has had an incredible career and numerous accolades to show for it. But does his fortune match his achievements? Pippen wasn’t just known for his skills on the basketball court—he was also the poster boy for terrible contracts. When it came to salary negotiations, the Chicago Bulls player famously got the short end of the stick. We can’t help but wonder how his past has affected his current financial situation. Get the details on his undesirable arrangement with the Bulls, and find out what Scottie Pippen’s net worth is today.
Scottie Pippen Played 17 Seasons In The National Basketball Association
Does Scottie Pippen really need an introduction? The 6-foot-8 basketball player is widely considered one of the greatest small forwards in the history of the game. Pippen is a seven-time NBA All-Star and the only player to win an NBA title and Olympic gold medal in the same year—two times!
Pippen played in the NBA for 17 seasons and was feared for his ability to defend any teammate on the court. He also has the second-most career steals in playoffs history (bested only by LeBron James). No respectable basketball fan could forget his heyday in the 1990s when he helped the Chicago Bulls win two three-peats for a total of six championship titles.
But despite his skills and legion of fans, Pippen was famously underpaid for his work. He was traded to the Houston Rockets in 1998 but left after one season of butting heads with teammate Charles Barkley. The baller then moved to the Portland Trail Blazers, whom he played for between 1999 and 2003.
Pippen ultimately returned to the Bulls in 2003, but without his legendary partner Michael Jordan, he couldn’t help the team recapture the magic of the previous decade. He announced his retirement less than a year later, and his jersey was officially retired in 2005.
Scottie Pippen Made A Contract Mistake That Cost Him Millions Of Dollars
Pippen came up at a time when NBA contracts were a messy and complicated affair. As a result, he was royally screwed at the peak of his career. CBS Sports provided an excellent breakdown of the antiquated arrangement:
“The contract that Pippen signed was billed as a five-year, $18 million deal, but the new agreement did not erase the two remaining seasons Pippen had on his rookie pact. In truth, that meant that signing the contract committed Pippen to the Bulls for the following seven, and amazingly, the $18 million that Pippen signed for was spread out over a total of eight.”
Pippen, who grew up in poverty, signed the undervalued deal against the advice of his agents. At the time, he was more concerned about securing some semblance of financial security for his family. But his regret and resentment was clear in the late 1990s, when Jordan was raking in $33.1 million against Pippen’s $2.8 million. He passive-aggressively retaliated by undergoing surgery just before the final year in his contract.
“Scottie was wrong in that scenario,” Jordan said in the epic ESPN docuseries The Last Dance. “He could’ve got his surgery done as soon as the season was over and be ready for the season. What Scottie was trying to do was trying to force management to change his contract. And [Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf] was never going to do that.”
Scottie Pippen Still Made More Than $100 Million In His Career
Pippen eventually made the kind of money that matched his performance, but it arrived in an unexpected form. In 1998, during free agency, he signed a five-year deal with the Houston Rockets for $67.2 million. When he returned to the Bulls in 2003, he was offered $10.3 million for two years. Both paydays came after his peak, but better late than never.
Incredibly, when all was said and done, Pippen actually earned more than Jordan in terms of NBA salaries. MJ made a total of $89.7 million while his teammate cashed in $109.9 million.
Pippen’s ex-wife Larsa even chimed in after The Last Dance portrayed the athlete as a victim of bad business deals:
So What Is Scottie Pippen’s Net Worth In 2021?
Scottie Pippen currently has an estimated net worth of $20 million. The figure is relatively high, given the many financial obstacles he’s faced over the span of four decades.
His unfavorable contract was bad enough. However, near the end of his playing career, Pippen invested more than $20 million with money adviser Robert Lunn. According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, Lunn burned through a good chunk of it on various scams. For instance, he forged his client’s signature to secure a $1.4 million loan; he then used the money to pay off personal debts.
He also convinced his client to buy a private jet, but Pippen wound up with a lemon. The NBA legend had to spend an additional million just to get it off the ground.
Pippen’s then-wife requested the maximum sentence for Lunn’s crimes.
“(Lunn) lied to us, he manipulated us, and he stole from us,” read a written statement. “He took our hard-earned money and acted recklessly and criminally with it and he should be held fully accountable for his actions.”
Pippen eventually managed to recoup $8 million in bankruptcy court. Meanwhile, Lunn received a three-year prison sentence.
Unfortunately, Pippen’s finances have also taken a hit from some bad real estate investments. In 2019, he lowered the price of his suburban Chicago-area mansion to $1.89 million (he originally purchased it in 2004 for $2.25 million). And this past February, he listed his Fort Lauderdale, Florida mansion for the third time in seven years.
We also have to factor in the money that could be owed to ex-wife Larsa Pippen. There’s no official word on how the estranged couple settled their 2021 divorce. But last we heard, the filing most likely involved sorting out an equalization payment, property, and child support for the minor children.