Bulls retire Scottie Pippen's No. 33

Ceremony to retire legendary player's jersey held on Dec. 9, 2005

Former Bulls great and future Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen had his No. 33 jersey retired at the United Center on Dec. 9, 2005.

"You've given me everything I could ever ask for," Pippen told the fans at the United Center. "I'll never forget what you have done for me, and what I was able to do for you."

Among those who participated in the retirement ceremony were Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson. Pippen's college and high school coach also attended among a list of several other notables that included Horace Grant, Toni Kukoc and Dennis Rodman.

"When we went into battle, I knew I had someone to watch my back," Michael Jordan said. "I love him like a brother. He pushed me to be the best basketball player every day in practice. And I pushed him to be the best Scottie Pippen he could be."

"It was all for the good, and I learned a lot along the way,'' an emotional Pippen remarked. "You made me understand what it really means to love Chicago.''


Pippen's Top 10 Greatest Moments

As Chicago prepared to retire Scottie Pippen's number, Bulls.com took a look at the legendary player's top ten greatest moments. From slowing down Magic and the Lakers in 1991 to "The Ewing Dunk," re-live some of 33's career highlights.

Pippen spent 17 seasons in the NBA, most notably his 12 with the Bulls, and helped Chicago claim its six World Championships. Among his many accolades, he was chosen as one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players of All-Time in 1996 and was a seven-time All-Star, including the game's MVP in 1994.

No. 10: Furious Fourth Quarter Comeback Led By Pippen, Reserves
No. 9: Ultimate Teammate Comes Through Again
No. 8: Pippen Fired in 47, Earned Praise from Jackson
No. 7: Late Steal Put the Fifth Title on Ice
No. 6: Pippen Garnered MVP Honors at 1994 All-Star Game
No. 5: Rookie Pippen Helped MJ Win First Playoff Series
No. 4: The Ewing Dunk
No. 3: Minus Michael, Scottie Carried the Bulls
No. 2: Defensive Domination Lifted Bulls Past Pacers
No. 1: World Champions for the First Time

Pippen announces retirement

Six-time NBA champion calls it quits after 17 seasons

Following the official announcement of his retirement, Scottie Pippen and Bulls GM John Paxson met the media at the Berto Center after the team's first official training camp practice this season. Below are some of Pippen's comments--for a complete transcript, click here now.

"I don't really have any regrets. I think I learned a lot from a lot of experiences that I dealt with over my career. There's nothing for me to look back and regret. Everything was a lesson learned and a step forward for me."

"I really want to take some time away from the game, even though I'll be here helping with some of the younger players as much as possible. I will be looking at the game from afar."

"I want to be remembered as a great teammate; one who cared about each and every one of his teammates, who wanted to win, and who gave it his all."

"I've done all I could do as a player. I kind of leave that up to the fans or the individual to judge me as to how I was as a player and as a person."

"If I had anything to give, I'd leave it here on this floor."

Click here now to hear more from Pippen, one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players.


Official press release:
The Chicago Bulls announced on October 5, 2004 that Scottie Pippen has retired.

"This was a very difficult decision for me to retire from playing a game that has been such a great part of my life. My family and I would like to thank the fans and the entire Chicago Bulls organization, especially Jerry Reinsdorf and John Paxson, for bringing me back to where I started," said Pippen. "I am retiring, but I still plan on being around for training camp to help this team. After 17 years, it's tough for me to just walk away completely."

Pippen, then 39, played in 1,178 games and averaged 16.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 5.2 apg and 1.96 spg during an illustrious career that placed him among the NBA's 50 Greatest Players of all-time in 1996 and brought the Bulls six NBA World Championship titles. His 208 career playoff appearances rank second in NBA history behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 237. Pippen led his teams to post-season appearances in each of his first 16 seasons and compiled NBA Playoff averages of 17.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 5.2 apg and 1.96 spg in 208 games.

"Scottie Pippen is one of the greatest Chicago Bulls of all time. His contributions to this franchise during his tenure here have been innumerable," said Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. "As an organization we thank him for everything. To fully recognize what he has meant to this organization, we plan to have a day in his honor and retire his number 33 at a future date to be determined."

"Scottie Pippen is the epitome of a true professional. He is a great teammate and a winner who is one of the best to ever wear a Bulls uniform," said Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson. "Our decision to bring Scottie back last summer served us well and it is unfortunate he will not be a leader of our team again this year. Scottie will always be a part of the Chicago Bulls family and we wish him nothing but the best."

During his 12 years in a Bulls uniform, Pippen has affixed his name at or very near the top of every major statistical category in franchise history. He is the team's all-time leader in 3-point field goals (664) and 3-point field goal attempts (2,031) and ranks second in 12 other categories.

His career numbers have also placed him atop the NBA's all-time leader board in many statistical categories, including 40th in points (18,940), fourth in steals (2,307), 23rd in assists (6,135) and 13th in minutes played (41,069).

Originally drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round (fifth overall) of the 1987 NBA Draft, Pippen's draft rights were traded to Chicago for the draft rights to Olden Polynice and future considerations. The 6-8, 228-pound forward/guard spent his first 11 seasons in the NBA with the Bulls and played a significant role in bringing six World Championships to Chicago.

The Bulls dealt Pippen to the Houston Rockets on Jan. 22, 1999, in exchange for Roy Rogers and a conditional second-round draft selection. After spending the shortened 1999 season with the Rockets, Houston sent him to the Portland Trail Blazers for Walt Williams, Stacey Augmon, Kelvin Cato, Ed Gray, Carlos Rogers and Brian Shaw on Oct. 2, 1999. Pippen played four seasons in Portland before returning to Chicago as a free agent on July 20, 2003.

No. 33's Return Engagement

As throwbacks go, Scottie Pippen is a proven classic. His style of play—and that of the Bulls throughout their history—has always been hard-nosed and blue collar. Diving onto the floor for a loose ball, smothering an opponent who dares attempt to bring the ball up court or flying down the lane on the break and finishing with flair have always been staples in Pippen's game.

"I know how to win games," Pippen says with unyielding certainty. "It may sound simple, but both winning and losing can become a mind-set, and I won't accept losing—ever. Whether it's on the floor, in the huddle, at practice or just demonstrating a winning leadership, I plan on helping this team win."

Pippen's career accomplishments

  • Six-time NBA World Champion (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998)
  • Name is scattered across the NBA's all-time leader board: 40th in total points (18,940), fourth in steals (2,307), tied for 16th in steals per game (1.96), 23rd in assists (6,135), 13th in minutes (41,069), 16th in minutes per game (34.9), 32nd in three-point field goals made (978)
  • Participated in postseason play in 16 of his 17 NBA seasons, making the playoffs in each of his first 16 seasons
  • Second in NBA history with 208 playoff appearances (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 237)
  • Member of the NBA All-Defensive Team from 1991-2000 (First Team member seven times)
  • Selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996
  • Seven-time NBA All Star (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997)
  • 1994 All-Star Game MVP
  • Made All-NBA seven straight years (1992-1998)
  • Two-time Olympic gold medal winner
  • Has recorded 20 career triple-doubles, including four in the playoffs
  • Ranked atop the all-time All-Star Game leader board in 3FGA with 22 (second), 3FG made with 7 (tied for 4th) and steals with 17 (eighth)
  • Career highs of 47 points, 18 rebounds, 15 assists, 9 steals and 5 blocked shots
  • Ranked first in Bulls history with 664 three-pointers and 2,031 three-point field goals attempted
  • Ranked second in Bulls history in: points (15,123), field goals (5,991), field goal attempts (12,444), free throws attempted (3,576), offensive rebounds (1,687), defensive rebounds (4,039), assists (4,494), steals (1,792), seasons played (12), games played (856) and minutes (30,269)
  • Ranked third in Bulls history with 5,726 rebounds and 774 blocked shots

What the experts said...

  • ESPN.com: MJ may not have won without Pippen | "Scottie Pippen may have been the most significant figure in the history of the NBA. ... No, Pippen may never have had a title without Jordan. But there's a good chance Jordan would never have had a title without Pippen. And what would NBA history be like then?" (Sam Smith)
  • CNNSI.com: Underappreciated: Pippen retires as one of game's best, not one of its most loved | "Pippen was known throughout his career as an exceptional teammate. How many times could he be seen directing traffic on the floor, talking on defense, giving advice to younger players? ... In a me-first culture, Pippen was that rare superstar talent who was willing to play second fiddle and sacrifice individual glory for the sake of his team. It's a lesson many of today's NBA stars could stand to learn." (Marty Burns)

Perspectives on No. 33

The Bulls thank everyone who e-mailed in their thoughts on Scottie Pippen. Click here now to read how some fans will remember one of the greatest Bulls of all-time.

"Pippen was the ultimate all around player," wrote one fan. "His great statistics don't come close to glorifying his contribution to the game of NBA basketball."