Scottie Pippen’s nickname is No Tippin’ Pippen because he is known for being cheap and often for refusing to tip at all. Charles Barkley called Pippen and Michael Jordan out for being cheap in a television interview. Dozens of anonymous stories on the internet support the idea that Pippen doesn’t tip.
Why Do People Call Scottie Pippen No Tippin’ Pippen?
Scottie Pippen was a Hall of Fame player who was noted for winning six NBA titles. He was also noted for sometimes refusing to tip at all and other times for tipping the least amount possible.
Pippen and Michael Jordan led the Bulls to two, separate title three-peats with help from others including Horace Grant and Dennis Rodman.
Off the court, Pippen and Jordan had something in common as well. They were both noted for being absurdly cheap.
Fellow Dream Teamer Charles Barkley called the superstars out in an interview with Conan O’Brien saying “There’s nobody cheaper than Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan”.
Neither Jordan nor Pippen lacked money. Scottie Pippen made nearly $110 million in basketball salary alone in his spectacular NBA career. This does not include his substantial endorsement deals.
As of the writing of this article, Pippen is reported to have a net worth of more than $20 million. Scottie Pippen’s cheapness does not come from a lack of money.
But he is most certainly cheap.
Did Other People Besides Charles Barkley Think Scottie Pippen was Cheap?
Yes, Scottie Pippen was known for being cheap. The internet is full of stories of Pippen’s legendary tightness with a buck. Below are just a few examples.
Not Paying for The Fight
In 2000, Pippen was playing for the Portland TrailBlazers. The team was in Minnesota on a road trip.
At the time Lennox Lewis was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, having defeated Evander Holyfield. Lewis squared off with Michael Grant in his first title defense in April of 2000.
Like many American men, Pippen wanted to watch the fight. He decided to head to a sports bar in Minneapolis named Champs.
Pippen’s agent contacted the bar to make sure they were showing the fight. Champs was not showing it because bars had to pay a $750 fee in order to show it.
They did not think their business from the fight would justify the fee.
Pippen agreed to pay the fee if they would show the fight, so they did. The fight ended quickly with Lewis knocking Grant around, and down, in the first round before knocking him out in the second.
Pippen felt ripped off and refused to pay. Most of us have probably felt the same feeling when ordering an expensive fight that only lasted a short time.
But, first of all, I still have to pay and, secondly, Pippen’s salary was $15 million that year!
He argued with the bar’s owners and only agreed to pay half the cost. Yikes.
Negotiating with Strippers
If negotiating with a sports bar you promised to pay sounds bad, wait until you hear about this one.
The New York Post reported in 2005 that Pippen visited one of the city’s fine dancing establishments.
But he had trouble finding anyone to entertain him. The reason was that instead of agreeing to the normal prices, Scottie Pippen tried to negotiate with the strippers to get them to perform more cheaply than their normal fees.
The Post reported that the entertainers were not impressed and moved on from the basketball star to less famous patrons who were willing to pay the price.
Not Tipping at a Friday’s
A bartender at the chain restaurant Friday’s reported an incident from the Bulls heyday.
Pippen came into the Friday’s with fellow Bull B.J. Armstrong and a group of women. Pippen opened a tab.
The bartender threw himself into serving the group knowing the two were famous athletes and that Pippen had just signed a multi-million dollar contract.
When the group was finished and Pippen was signing for the bill, the bartender heard the woman with Pippen say something to him that made the server die on the inside. “Aren’t you going to tip him anything?”, said the girl. Pippen replied, “I don’t tip anyone.”
The story pretty much explains the nickname: No Tippin’ Pippen.
Armstrong left a good tip and apologized for Pippen’s failure to do so.
Summary: Scottie Pippen’s Nickname
Scottie Pippen has been accused by many servers of being a poor tipper or outright refusing to tip. There are also many other stories of Pippen being cheap. Most famously, Pippen was called out by fellow Dream Teamer Charles Barkley for being very cheap.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Chicago Bulls Scottie Pippen 1995 http://www.basketballphoto.com/basketballindexz.htm CC BY 3.0.
I have been a Boston sports fan for more than forty years. I write about games, players and seasons from the past.