Scottie Pippen, the man who famously signed one of the worst contracts in NBA history, still found a way to take home $20 million more in salary earnings than Michael Jordan, the man who was making ten times more than him in their final two seasons together.
So, how did Scottie manage to trump MJ in the long run?
For starters, it’s important to remember that Michael Jordan had a massive salary in just two of his 15 seasons.
When Jordan was drafted, the salary cap was nowhere near what it was later in his career.
So MJ signed a seven-year, $6.3 million rookie contract after being selected third overall in 1984, before inking an 8-year, $25.7 million renegotiated contract in 1988.
That got him all the way through to 1996, and with the NBA’s popularity and revenue skyrocketing (largely thanks to Jordan himself), he capitalised on the massively increased salary cap and signed on for a total of $63.28 million across his final two seasons.
Pippen, on the other hand, never earned more than $3.4 million before the Bulls dynasty was disbanded.
But he made up for lost time when he signed a five-year, $67.2 million deal with the Houston Rockets in 1998.
Jordan, on the other hand, retired.
Even after cashing out with the Rockets and the Blazers, Pippen wasn’t done making bank.
In 2003, the Bulls put the cherry on top for Pippen and his rejuvenated bank account, when they signed him to a two-year, $10.3 million deal.
Pippen was 37 years old and well past his prime, but Chicago did the right thing by him after doing him dirty all those years and refusing to renegotiate his ludicrously small deal throughout his entire prime.
All in all, Pippen finished his career with salary earnings of $109.9 million, while Jordan finished with $89.7 million.
Who said Scottie always came second to MJ in everything?…
For a refresher course on how the Bulls managed to lock Pippen into such a cheap deal in the first place and get away with it for so long, read on: