Charles Barkley recently talked about why he felt Scottie Pippen gave up so quickly on the Houston Rockets and how he felt about the decision.
With The Last Dance recently wrapping up, 90s basketball has been a hot topic for the past few weeks. Scottie Pippen took a lot of hits in the documentary, which he has expressed disappointment about. Charles Barkley added to the Scottie conversation on The Lowe Post a couple of days ago, giving his thoughts on Pippen’s quick departure from the Houston Rockets.
It’s no secret that Pippen’s time in Houston in the 1998-99 season was pretty much a disaster, as he and Charles Barkley publicly feuded throughout the 50-game season. Chemistry issues on and off the court led to the Rockets, led by the trio of Hakeem Olajuwon, Barkley and Pippen, getting bounced out of the first round by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Barkley spoke to Zach Lowe about how the timing of Pippen’s arrival was just a little too late: “It was frustrating because I couldn’t play anymore, Hakeem couldn’t play anymore, and Scottie knew it right away,” started Barkley. “So he was like, ‘I appreciate you taking the pay cut for me, but I’m getting the hell out of here.’ “
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At the time of Pippen’s arrival, Charles was 35, Olajuwon was 36, and Pippen was 33. While all three were already headed for a Hall of Fame induction, Charles and Hakeem were both past their primes.
Barkley also had something to say about Pippen’s career without Michael Jordan. “Scottie wanted to try and win without Michael, but that was never going to happen,” said Barkley.
“He had a really good team in Portland. If he wasn’t going to win with that team, he was never going to win without Michael.”
Those sound like harsh words on paper, but it’s not like Barkley has ever been one to hold back. When asked about his relationship with Scottie nowadays, Charles maintains it’s positive.
“We’re fine. I like Scottie, he’s a good player,” said Barkley. While Pippen left after just one shortened season, Charles understood why.
“He didn’t have the Michael Jordan cover. The rest of us had to do our own thing, and he realized right away that he has three old guys and we’re not going to win. So, I have no problem with him going to Portland.”