ESPN’s The Last Dance has shed light on Michael Jordan’s relationship with his former teammate Scottie Pippen. The two won six championships with the Chicago Bulls yet there was a huge disparity between their salaries. While fans were very sympathetic to Pippen’s plight, his estranged wife, Larsa Pippen, is making sure everyone knows he made more money in his NBA career than Jordan.
‘The Last Dance’ breaks down Pippen’s salary from the Bulls
Pippen was viewed as Jordan’s sidekick during their championship run, but he put up impressive numbers during his time in the NBA. Over the course of his career with the Bulls, Pippen averaged 17.7 points, 5.3 assists, 6.7 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, and 2.1 steals per game.
In The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, a six-time NBA Finals MVP and five-time MVP winner, admitted that he would not have won six championships without Pippen at his side. According to Newsweek, Jordan called Pippen the “best teammate of all time,” yet the Bulls failed to pay him a salary that matched other superstars in the league.
After the Bulls won their first title, Pippen signed a seven-year deal with the team that was only worth $18 million. Despite helping the Bulls win six titles, the team never paid him over $4 million a year.
Pippen did not complain about his contract in his early years with the Bulls, but by 1995, he no longer thought his deal was fair. In an interview with TNT Sports, Pippen admitted that he wanted a trade, something that general manager Jerry Krause teased but never seriously considered.
How did Pippen’s salary compare to Jordan’s pay?
Jordan signed several big contracts with the Bulls during his career. This includes back-to-back deals that left him earning $30 million a year.
During the 1997-98 season, which is covered in The Last Dance, Jordan was pulling down $33 million a year, making him the highest-paid player in the NBA. The second-highest-paid earner was Patrick Ewing, who was making $20.5 million a year for the New York Knicks.
While Pippen was an integral part of the team’s success, he was the sixth highest-paid player on the Bulls in 1997. In The Last Dance, former Bulls head coach Phil Jackson called Pippen’s salary “embarrassing,” especially considering his value to the team.
“It was embarrassing,” Jackson stated. “Because he was maybe the No. 2 player in the NBA. His value was immense.”
Aside from his NBA salary, Jordan inked deals with Nike and is currently valued at over $2 billion. The discrepancy between Jordan and Pippen’s earnings has sparked controversies with fans, but Pippen’s estranged wife, Larsa Pippen, wants everyone to know that he is doing just fine.
Larsa Pippen takes to Twitter after ‘The Last Dance’
Fans who watched The Last Dance have certainly sympathized with Pippen over his lackluster salary. But Pippen’s estranged wife, Larsa Pippen, is clearing the air about his overall NBA salary.
Taking to Twitter, Larsa Pippen cited a report that revealed Pippen made over $109 million in the course of his career. This is about $20 million more than Jordan made in his career, a total that amounts to over $90 million.
“Thx for your concern Scottie did ok #TheLastDance,” she wrote.
After leaving the Bulls, Pippen played for the Houston Rockets for the 1998-98 season. The Portland Trailblazers picked him up the following season. Pippen stayed in Portland for four years before finishing his career in Chicago in 2003.
Larsa Pippen shows off her bikini bod
Larsa’s tweet comes a few weeks after she shared some throwback bikini pics of herself on social media. Larsa, who is good friends with Kim Kardashian, posted a shot of her rocking a silver swimsuit on a beach.
“My happiest place, I can’t wait to get back,” she captioned the post.
In 2018, Pippen and Larsa announced their divorce. The two had been married for over two decades at the time of their split. According to The Blast, sources claim that they are now close to finalizing their divorce, though it is unclear where they are at in the process.
“We have both tried very hard for a long time to make our marriage work and have ultimately come to the conclusion that it is best we live separate lives,” Larsa shared.
Scottie Pippen has not commented on the reports surrounding The Last Dance. New episodes air Sunday nights on ESPN.