Pippen’s exit from the Rockets
Pippen had an unceremonious exit from the Rockets, as he demanded a trade after his one and only season in the Space City, due in part to a feud he had with Barkley. On October 2nd, 1999, the Rockets eventually traded Pippen to the Portland Trail Blazers for Kelvin Cato, Walt Williams, Stacey Augmon, Ed Gray, Brian Shaw, and Carlos Rogers, ending the experiment in the Space City.
Pippen shared an interesting version of events of how things unfolded in Houston during an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump.
“They wanted me to be a 3-point shooter and watch Hakeem and Charles post up. And I was never comfortable with playing the role of being a spot up three-point shooter. That was part of my reason of why I didn’t fit in with the Houston Rockets.”
Pippen made even more interesting comments on a different episode of The Jump stating that he would average 40 points a game if he played in the Rockets’ current offense, which sort of contradicts his previous quote because the Rockets like to light it up from downtown. That’s exactly what he said he didn’t like about the 1998-99 Rockets team he played on.
But even though it didn’t work out in Houston for Pippen, the Rockets were the team that paid Pippen his value, which he had to have appreciated considering how the Bulls did the complete opposite.