Bulls’ Scottie Pippen Reflects on Having Cameras Film Team in 1997-98

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SALT LAKE CITY, UNITED STATES: Scottie Pippen (R) of the Chicago Bulls watches teammate Ron Harper enjoy a cigar 14 June after winning game six of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, UT. The Bulls won the game 87-86 to win their sixth NBA Championship. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images)

Earlier today, The Jump’s Rachel Nichols posted a conversation between herself and Bulls legend Scottie Pippen on Instagram TV. The two discussed the upcoming ten-part documentary entitled ‘The Last Dance’ featuring the final season of the Bulls dynasty in the late 90s, which will make its debut on April 19th.

Nichols asked Pippen what it was like to have cameras recording their entire movement during the 1997-98 season.

“Well, it was awesome, Rachel. For me, it was really everything coming to ahead for us. A great run through the 90s, Dennis [Rodman] had come and joined us for the second part of that run. That part was really the more special part because we were the best team in basketball, and no one knocked us off,” said Pippen. “So, knowing that was the end of our run, and that we had to end it that way. We made it very special, and we wanted to end it with a championship.”

The Chicago Bulls would go on to win the championship during the 1997-98 season against the Utah Jazz, and Michael Jordan would retire for the second time in his Hall of Fame career that summer. He would be named Finals MVP for the sixth and final time in his career.

Scottie Pippen of the Houston Rockets (L) talks with teammate Hakeem Olajuwon during their February 05th game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles. Pippen was traded to the Rockets from the Chicago Bulls during the off-season. The Lakers defeated the Rockets,
99-91. AFP PHOTO Vince BUCCI (Photo by VINCE BUCCI / AFP) (Photo credit should read VINCE BUCCI/AFP via Getty Images)

The following season, Scottie Pippen signed a deal worth $67.2 million for five years with an additional $15 million in incentives and shipped him to Houston in a sign and trade deal for Roy Rogers and a second-round draft pick in return, according to Kitsapsun.com. The deal would pair Pippen with Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Pippen would release a statement through his agent, Jimmy Sexton, thanking the city of Chicago and the Bulls organization as well as his teammate for the 11 years spent in a Bulls uniform.

“I would like to thank the Chicago Bulls, the great people of the city of Chicago, and all my teammates for 11 wonderful seasons,” Pippen said.”I would also like to personally thank the Bulls for helping me through this period of free agency. I wish them the best because that is what Chicago deserves.”

Unfortunately, the deal couldn’t be finalized until the NBA, and the players union could resolve their difference during their lockout that shortened the season in 1998-99.

“We’re not going to confirm anything,” Rockets spokesman Tim Frank said. “The lockout is technically not over. We’re still under lockout restrictions. No deal can officially be done until that cloak is lifted.”

The Bulls would also pull a sign and trade deal that sent Steve Kerr to the San Antonio Spurs for Chuck Person and a first-round draft pick. Kerr’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, would only say a deal was close, but league sources said Kerr would receive $11 million over five years, according to Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune.

Per The Tribune, the Bulls also shipped Luke Longley to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for a Phoenix No. 1 draft pick, plus Mark Bryant, Martin Muursepp, and Bubba Wells to complete the Scottie Pippen with Houston.

Scottie Pippen would finish his career averaging 18 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists.

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