Viewers took great pleasure in roasting former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen's contract value after it was revealed during the premiere of ESPN's "The Last Dance" on Sunday night. Pippen was the sixth-highest paid player on his own team, despite leading the Bulls in several statistical categories and being widely considered as one of the league's best players.
That five-year, $18 million contract Pippen signed in 1991 (which didn't erase the final two seasons of his rookie deal) definitely has to go down as one of the more underpaying contracts in NBA history, but Draymond Green believes one of his teammates had a similarly underwhelming deal.
“Me, as a teammate, if Scottie Pippen does that, I’m not going to be mad at Pip.”@Money23Green weighs in on Scottie’s contract situation & much more w/ @mavcarter & @pr_rwtw on the first edition of WRTS: After Party: https://t.co/0G4ldwQr75 pic.twitter.com/gc9zom8jxu— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) April 20, 2020
"I think the best two teams ever in the NBA, (are) built on bad contracts," Green told Uninterrupted. "Scottie Pippen's contract is f-----g horrible, but I'm not sure his contract was any worse than Steph's (Curry) contract. No one is gonna say it because he was making $11 million, I'm not a math guy, but I'd be interested in knowing how that adds up, or how that's comparable to Scottie's deal with what the money was back then."
In 2013, Curry signed a four-year, $44 million contract with the Warriors. Reports indicated that the team was concerned about Steph's injury history, primarily his persistent ankle issues early in his NBA career.
Obviously, he outperformed that first contract, winning two MVPs in that span and leading the Warriors to an NBA championship while shattering records in the process.
But is Curry's deal as bad as Pippen's? In 2015-16 -- the year Golden State won 73 games and Steph was named unanimous NBA MVP -- he was the 61st highest-paid player in the NBA, raking in $11,370,786. That number put him fifth among the Warriors in salary, behind Klay Thompson ($15.5 million), Green ($14.2 million), Andrew Bogut ($13.8 million) and Andre Iguodala ($11.7 million).
But as illustrated in "The Last Dance," Pippen was No. 122 in NBA salary during the 1997-98 season and was the sixth-highest paid player in Chicago that final year, earning $2,775,000. For comparison, the 122nd highest-paid player in 2015-16 was former Warrior Marco Bellineli, who was paid just over $6 million by the Kings.
Obviously Golden State got very lucky with how well Curry performed during that 2013-17 span, which is why they rewarded him with the NBA's first $200 million contract in 2017. But Curry's deal was nothing compared to the bargain owner Jerry Reinsdorf and the Bulls got for Pippen in the 1990s.
As Pippen's estranged wife also noted on social media following Sunday night's premiere, Pippen's bank account is doing just fine.