Scottie Pippen is definitely not making any friends from the promotional media tour accompanying the release of his new book, “Unguarded.” While most of his criticism is centered around longtime teammate Michael Jordan, the Houston Rockets were under scrutiny as well, during Pippen’s recent interview with Frank Isola on Sirius XM NBA Radio.
Post Jordan’s retirement from the Chicago Bulls after the 1997-98 season, Scottie Pippen was a free agent and decided to move to Houston to join forces with two other Hall of Famers: Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley.
Unfortunately, the 1999 Rockets went just 31-19 in a lockout-shortened regular season, placing them at a disappointing No. 5 in the Western Conference. They were then defeated in the playoffs in the first round. After the season ended, Pippen got into a war of words with Barkley and consequently forced a trade to Portland, ending his Houston tenure after only one shortened season.
Scottie Pippen Owns Six While Barkley Has None
Scottie Pippen does own six championship rings whereas Barkley owns zero. However, all of those six rings were earned playing alongside Michael Jordan, who is believed by most to be the best player in all of NBA history. Barkley never had the luxury of having a teammate of that caliber, and definitely not in 1999 — when Scottie Pippen averaged 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists in 40.2 minutes per game with the Rockets after signing a maximum-salaried contract in the offseason.
It is also worth considering that teammates on the ’99 Rockets strongly took Barkley’s side in the feud and backed him. Scottie Pippen’s comments on his media tour may draw attention to his book, but they are also clearly missing some context related to his own role there.