Larsa Pippen defends Scottie Pippen amidst ‘pity party’

Larsa Pippen is standing by her ex-husband, Scottie Pippen, amid controversy surrounding his past NBA deal that recently resurfaced.

As fans may know, the second episode of The Last Dance — a new 10-part ESPN docuseries about Michael Jordan — centered on Chicago Bulls legend Scottie and stated that the All-Star was the most undervalued player on the team, despite having signed an $18 million deal. The show even features scenes of Scottie arguing with then-general manager Jerry Krause in a team bus, bashing him for failing to pay him what he thought he deserved.

Upon seeing this, many viewers deemed Scottie ungrateful, while others slammed the NBA for taking him for granted. Soon, his name began trending on Twitter, as did the phrase “$18 million Scottie Pippen pity party.” While Scottie has remained silent amid the controversy, ex-wife Larsa rushed to his defense on Twitter, making it clear the six-time NBA champion isn’t struggling, according to the New York Post

Larsa Pippen is here for Scottie

In response to all the Twitter uproar, the reality star weighed in. “Thx for your concern Scottie did ok #TheLastDance,” Larsa Pippen wrote on Twitter, alongside a screenshot of a Bleacher Report article showing ex-husband Scottie Pippen’s NBA earnings: $109,192,430. “Scottie Pippen will be best remembered for playing the Robin to Jordan’s Batman, but No. 33 actually pulled in almost $20 million more than MJ did during his playing days,” the article reads.

Larsa and Scottie were married from 1997 to 2018 when the former Real Housewives of Miami star filed for divorce. At that point, they had been separated for about two years, according to the New York Post.

These days, the two remain amicable and continue to raise their four children — sons Scotty Jr., Preston, and Justin, and daughter Sophia — together. Preston is already following in his father’s footsteps and often posts shots playing basketball on Instagram with Scottie and Larsa cheering him on. “My guy,” Preston captioned a throwback photo of himself as a kid, watching a basketball game with his famous dad. 

Did the NBA take Scottie Pippen for granted?

In case fans are not aware, the “Scottie Pippen pity party” drama all started when The Last Dance explained Scottie Pippen’s supposedly tragic deal with the Chicago Bulls on the second episode of the docuseries.

The basketball star was drafted by the Bulls in 1987 — three years after they drafted Michael Jordan. At the time, Scottie was 22 years old and not everyone had high hopes for him. Still, he eventually became one of the most valued players on the team — and supposedly one of the most underpaid. When he started out, Scottie signed a six-year deal worth $5 million. It was a good deal at the time (via the Chicago Tribune). 

By 1991, the fourth year of his initial contract, Scottie was an All-Star, so the Chicago team offered him a huge $18 million deal for an additional five years. He took it, but the problem is that when spread out through seven years, the money wasn’t all that great — at least for an NBA player. According to Clutch Points, Scottie made around $2.78 million during his first four seasons, making him the 122nd highest-paid player in the league. He never made more than $3.4 million in a season, according to Spotrac.

Scottie Pippen is doing just fine

At this point, it’s somewhat unclear exactly where Scottie Pippen stands money-wise. ESPN’s docuseries claims he was wildly underpaid throughout his entire career, but his ex-wife Larsa Pippen insists he got plenty of cash (more than Michael Jordan) and is doing just fine!

“Scottie Pippen was the 122nd-highest-paid player in the NBA in ’97-98, but was easily one of the best players in the league. #TheLastDance,” ESPN tweeted on April 19, 2020. After his time with the Chicago Bulls, Scottie was traded to the Houston Rockets for Roy Rogers. From that deal, he earned a five-year, $67.2 million contract (via ESPN). Soon, Scottie was traded again, this time to the Portland Trail Blazers in return for six players after one year. He made millions in his four seasons with the Portland team, though his stardom in the court began to diminish. 

Finally, he returned to the Bulls for the final two years of his career on a $10 million contract. While he helped out the newbies, his injuries kept him from performing at his top level, and in 2004, he retired from professional basketball. Spotrac reported that after 17 NBA seasons, Scottie walked away with just shy of $110 million.

According to FanBuzz, the athlete’s net worth is estimated between $30 and $50 million in 2020. His statue still stands at the United Center — home to the Chicago Bulls — today.

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