Why Scottie Pippen failed with the Houston Rockets
Charles Barkley impressively took a pay cut from $12 million to $8 million in the effort to trade for a 34-year-old Scottie Pippen in Houston, some rumors even swirled that Jordan would follow for his last years.
This was the same pay cut that Barkley verbatim cites as the catalyst to get “fat” and “lazy” (his words not mine.) Regardless of the initial efforts to play together and cordial media promotions for the exciting new super-team, almost immediate chemistry issues between Barkley and Pippen sprouted.
In his only season as a Rocket, Scottie Pippen would shoot a career-low 40.2 percent from the field and post his lowest scoring average since his rookie year. Along with a close run-in with the cops one late night driving home, Pippen just couldn’t get acclimated in Houston.
Later that season, the Rockets would be eliminated in Game 5 of a disappointing first-round series against the Lakers. Rumors already swirling that Pippen wanted out of Houston after only one year with the team only fueled the fire of Charles Barkley’s resentment.
Barkley would scrutinize Pippen’s lack of investment on national television only for Pippen to seemingly do the same in rebuttal with the infamous quote, “I wouldn’t give Charles Barkley an apology at gunpoint. For context, Barkley made lighthearted jokes about owning a gun and murdering Pippen for leaving after a year.
Next: Pippen's departure from Texas...