18 people who turned their back on the Houston Rockets franchise

NBA All-Star Game 2016
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8. Scottie Pippen

After winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls and stamping himself as one of the best players in the league (and all-time), Scottie Pippen headed back to the south to join the Rockets. The Rockets acquired him in a sign-and-trade deal that sent Roy Rogers and a second-round draft pick to the Bulls.

Pippen landed a five-year deal worth up to $82 million in the Space City, as the Rockets gave him the deal that finally compensated him fairly for his value and contributions on the hardwood.

Keep in mind that Pippen was just the 122nd highest-paid player in the league by the 1997-98 season.

Pippen helped the Rockets concoct a Big Three of him, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Charles Barkley, although the latter two were past their prime. The Rockets finished fifth in the West in 1998-99, while Pippen averaged 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 43.2 percent from the field.

Pippen demanded a trade at the end of the season due mainly to a feud with Charles Barkley and was dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers in the offseason. Years later, he would later say that he didn't thrive in the Space City because the Rockets wanted him to "watch Hakeem and Charles post up" while turning him into a 3-point shooter.

Interestingly enough, Pippen's 4.2 attempts from deep during that season were fewer than each of his threes previous seasons with the Bulls.