Why Scottie Pippen failed with the Houston Rockets

By Joe Edwards
Scottie Pippen (Photo credit should read JAMES NIELSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Scottie Pippen (Photo credit should read JAMES NIELSEN/AFP/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)
(Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images) /

The Rockets would grant Pippen’s wish in the following offseason, trading him to the Portland Trail Blazers. He would continue to drop in seemingly every statistical category of play before one final year with the Bulls in 2003-04 before retiring.

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Charles Barkley would play one final injury-riddled year with the Rockets before retiring completely. It is undeniable that Barkley, Olajuwon, and Pippen could have been one of the most exciting super-teams of the decade.

Age, chemistry, and money were the root of issues for Pippen and the Rockets, though.

An opportunity for Scottie to solidify himself as an elite player independent of Michael Jordan only turned into a reminder that Pippen looked like a shell of himself without Jordan.

The Rockets transitioned from a back-to-back championship team with a new “superfriends” aesthetic and busy Y2K branding, to a rebuilding era on the shoulders of young Steve Francis.

Scottie Pippen’s time spent as a Houston Rocket was so short and fast that seeing a blue pinstripe #33 jersey almost feels retrospectively surreal, an “oh yeah, that happened” type of memory.

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Next. Why the Rockets would've beaten Jordan's Bulls

Regardless of the outcome, the 1999 Houston Rockets were the most exciting potential team in the NBA at that time, and cast-member Scottie Pippen simply failed, packed his bags, and left for Portland.