Why Scottie Pippen didn’t use rookie gift from Michael Jordan

Why Scottie Pippen didn't use rookie gift from Michael Jordan

NBA legend Scottie Pippen wrote in his book,” Unguarded,” that Michael Jordan gave him a set of golf clubs as a rookie gift.

However, Pippen’s doctor told him not to play golf.

“When I was a rookie in 1987, Michael gave me a set of Wilson golf clubs,” Pippen wrote. “He was inviting me into his sanctuary away from basketball. Except I was too naive to realize it. It didn’t help that I was having serious problems with my back. My doctor didn’t mince words: ‘Don’t play golf if you want to have a basketball career.’”

It’s a good thing Pippen listened to his doctor. By not playing golf with Jordan, Pippen was able to protect his back and have a Hall of Fame career.

Jordan and Pippen guided the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in the 1990s. The Bulls three-peated twice and went undefeated in the Finals.

Pippen’s back became a serious problem in the 1998 Finals against the Utah Jazz. In Game 6, Pippen dunked the ball on the first possession and hurt his back so much that he kept going in and out of the game to receive treatment.

“When I dunked the ball on the first possession of the game, it felt as if someone had stabbed me in the back,” Pippen wrote in his book. “The shock of the landing pinched my nerve. Every time I ran, I got a spasm. I tried to gut it out. I couldn’t. With us leading 17-8, I went to the locker room for electrical stimulation and some stretching. I remained there the rest of the half.”

Pippen somehow played 25 minutes in Game 6. He finished with eight points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals.

The Bulls beat the Jazz by a final score of 87-86 in Game 6 to capture their sixth title. Jordan made the game-winning basket over Bryon Russell. He was named Finals MVP for the sixth time.

Jordan and Pippen are no longer friends, but they are universally recognized as the greatest duo in NBA history. The Bulls were 514-177 in the regular season when Jordan and Pippen played.

Jordan averaged 31.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.5 steals and 0.8 blocks next to Pippen, while Pippen averaged 17.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 0.9 blocks alongside Jordan.

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