The second episode of Michael Jordan's The Last Dance, which released on April 19 (April 20 IST), focused on Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen and his contract with the Bulls. While it also shared anecdotes about Jordan's early life, it gave NBA fans details about Pippen's issues with GM Jerry Krause and how it affected the Bulls' 1997-98 campaign. While Pippen was underpaid in Chicago, the Scottie Pippen career earnings surprisingly exceeded Michael Jordan career earnings by $20 million.
After winning their first NBA title, Pippen signed a five-year $18 million extension with the team. Though Pippen was aware that a shorter contract would have been a more feasible option, he chose to ensure financial security for himself and his family in case he picked up an injury in the future. Despite being arguably one of the best players in the NBA, Pippen was the sixth-highest paid player on the Bulls roster and the 122nd-highest paid in the NBA, as per ESPN.
At that time, Jordan was reportedly earning $33.14 million, while the Bulls forward earned $2.775 million. This led to Pippen's frustration during the NBA 1997-98 season, which even caused him to delay his foot surgery and miss the first half of their campaign. However, reports state that Pippen earned $109,957,430 in 17 seasons, while Jordan earned $89,772,500 in 15.
After his final season with the Bulls, Pippen was traded to the Rockets, where he signed a $67 million contract. That year alone his salary increased to $11 million, four times more than his last year with the Bulls. However, reports stated that his relationship with Charles Barkley 'soured' and he was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers after one season.
When Portland signed Pippen, they absorbed his previous contract. The six-time NBA champion reportedly earned $14,795,642 during his first year with the team and $13,750,000 in the second. Pippen earned his highest paychecks in the next few years, making $18,083,564 in 2002 and $19,727,524 for his last year.
Pippen returned to the Bulls to wrap up his NBA career. Bulls' player-turned-GM John Paxson helped Pippen with a two-year $10.3 million contract. Though Pippen was sidelined due to injuries, he made $4,917,000 and $5,408,700 in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Jordan, who played with the Washington Wizards after Bulls, reportedly earned $2,030,000 in two years.