After finishing his rookie contract with the Bulls, many expected Scottie Pippen would get a huge payday.
The NBA hadn’t implemented the specific and stringent salary cap rules that are now in place, and the small forward had more than proven his value.
So how is it possible that in the 1997-98 season, fresh off leading the Bulls to their fifth championship, Scottie Pippen was the sixth highest-paid player on the Chicago Bulls roster?
It turns out Scottie signed a terrible contract deal with then-Bulls GM Jerry Krause.
Although the deal contained lots of minutiae, it essentially boiled down to seven-years for $18 million.
For reference, reports say that Michael Jordan made over $33 million in the 1997-98 season, while Scottie made $2.8 million.
This salary discrepancy led to front office turmoil between Pippen and GM Jerry Krause, as shown in the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance.”
Pippen would eventually leave the Bulls and sign a four-year $66 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers in 1999.
In total, Pippen made $109,957,430 throughout his professional basketball career.
Scottie’s ex-wife, Larsa, took to Twitter to dispute the idea that her husband didn’t make it out of the NBA with financial gains by saying, “Thx for your concern Scottie did ok #TheLastDance.”
— Larsa Pippen (@larsapippen) April 20, 2020
It’s safe to say that Pippen, the Bulls, and the fans all got richer one way or another thanks to Scottie’s great play.