Scottie Pippen Was ‘Tipsy’ During 1994 All-Star Game When He Won MVP: ‘I Probably Drank The Equivalent Of 3 Beers Before The Game’

Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen was “tipsy” during the 1994 NBA All-Star Game when he won MVP. 

NBA, Scottie Pippen, Chicago Bulls, 1994 All-Star Game
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Pippen finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds for the East while shooting 9-of-15 from the field, 5-of-9 from beyond the arc and 6-of-10 from the free-throw line. 

“That was a crazy day,” Pippen wrote in his book. “Before the game, I hung out in my hotel room with a buddy, Michael Clarke, a former teammate of Pete Myers‘s at U of A in Little Rock. Michael and I played tonk, the loser drinking a shot of beer. This went on for hours. I probably drank the equivalent of three beers.

“Suddenly, it was time to leave for the arena. So I was a little tipsy. So what? I wasn’t planning on putting much energy into what is nothing more than an exhibition. And, you may recall, ever since I was snubbed in 1991, I didn’t think much of the All-Star Game to begin with.

“That strangest thing then happened. When I got on the court to warm up, my level of concentration was off the charts. I hit every shot, including three-pointers.”

Pippen, one of the best players in NBA history, was happy he won the 1994 All-Star Game MVP Award. He was finally playing outside the shadow of NBA icon Michael Jordan, who retired after the Bulls won the 1993 title over the Phoenix Suns. 

“For once, it was nice to win something of my own instead of watching Michael walk off with another trophy,” Pippen wrote. 

The Bulls went 55-27 in 1993-94 without Jordan. Pippen averaged 22.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.9 steals and 0.8 blocks. He finished third in MVP voting behind Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson

“From game to game, possession to possession, our opponents didn’t know whom they needed to worry about, quite a contrast from the old days,” Pippen wrote. “The players we added in the offseason were veterans with a high basketball IQ who picked up the nuances of the triangle faster than those who were on the team in 1989. Having four or five guys learn a new system instead of 12 also helped.

“I’d never had so much fun. Without Michael judging every move, no one was afraid to make a mistake. The change in Horace Grant was most noticeable. He was playing with more confidence. I can’t recall him complaining once, about anything, though he was still almost certain to leave when he became a free agent at the end of the season.”

The Bulls swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the 1994 playoffs. However, Chicago lost to the New York Knicks in the second round in seven games.

That was the series Pippen didn’t go into Game 3 in the final seconds when Phil Jackson called the game-winning play for Toni Kukoc

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