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Scottie Pippen All-Time Starting 5? Hall of Famer Includes Former Rockets Teammate, Then Backs Out

One-time Rocket Scottie Pippen shares his all-time starting five.

Who's your all-time starting five?

That's a common question asked in NBA circles that constantly sparks debate, and this time it was posed to Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.


Pippen primarily played his career with the Chicago Bulls, but was traded to the Houston Rockets after 11 seasons in the Windy City.

Pippen was brought to Houston as part of one final push to keep the Rockets' championship window open in the 1990s and team up with fellow aging stars Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley.

The Rockets finished 31-19 in the lockout-shortened 1999 campaign, but failed to advance out of the first round of the playoffs. The season was defined by turmoil between Pippen and Barkley, ultimately resulting in the former being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Flash forward back to the podcast appearance Pippen made when he was asked about his all-time starting five ... and he had words about his former Rockets teammate.

“I will take myself, Michael Jordan, Magic [Johnson], give me Charles Barkley. I’ll take Shaq," Pippen said before quickly changing his response. "No, no, no. You know what? Get rid of Barkley, give me Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. It's Giannis at the four, and then give me Shaq at the 5.”

The comment appears to be more of a compliment to Giannis Antetokounmpo, the reigning Finals MVP who is in pursuit for a second straight championship, than a dig at Barkley.


The fact that Barkley was included in his starting five to begin with shows that Pippen respects his former teammate's basketball abilities even if the two didn't get along. But it may have come across a bit shady to take back his original comment.

Was there rocky relationship in Houston the reason why Pippen changed his answer? We'll never truly know, but we can only assume that it has potential to be the reason.