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article imageNBA: Former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen awarded $2 million

By Michael Bearak     Jun 29, 2010 in Business
Scottie Pippen was a staple alongside Michael Jordan for their run of six NBA titles in eight years. Now in retirement, Pippen is facing the fact that he is going broke.
Scottie Pippen came from a very poor family. So it wasn't that surprising that he signed a long term deal with the Bulls to ensure his financial security. Pippen also did every endorsement that he could which would ensure that he had money flowing in over time. Unfortunately like many professional athletes, Pippen made a series of bad investments and deals and is facing losing his money now that his playing days are over.
On Monday Pippen got some luck to go his way as a Cook County Court awarded Pippen $2 million in a lawsuit over malpractice concerning a jet he purchased. Back in 2002 Scottie Pippen purchased a Gulfstream II jet for roughly $4 million. Shortly after, the jet was grounded because of a missed inspection that required over $1 million in engine repairs. Pippen's contention was that his attorneys who were handling the purchase of the jet should have known that the inspection hadn't been done at the time of the purchase, but somehow either they missed it or didn't know better.
Pippen sued the Chicago law firm of Pedersen & Houpt for $8.2 million in the case, which was the total amount Pippen had to sink into the purchase of the jet. The jury felt that Pippen was somewhat culpable in that he too didn't follow the proceedings of the purchase carefully enough to ensure his investment.
The trial took just over three weeks in front of judge Brigid Mary McGrath. Afterward, Pippen's attorney George Spellmire, said: “We’re just glad for Mr. Pippen.”
Pippen gasped when the verdict was read in his favor, as he was leaving the court room he spoke just briefly with reporters saying, “I don’t want to really say anything, I’m just exhausted and tired.”
Scottie Pippen is just part of a long string of athletes who have gotten involved in bad business dealings including other NBA stars Eddy Curry, Rick Mahorn, Antoine Walker, and Derrick Coleman. Things got so bad for Mahorn that he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. During his career Mahorn made $6 million playing and then worked as a commentator for the Pistons bringing in a reported six-figure salary, but at the time of his filing his wife and he had just $1,101 to their name.
Other non-NBA athletes include golfer John Daly who has gambled away between $50 and $60 million on career earnings and now had his house foreclosed on. Boxer Mike Tyson filed for bankruptcy in 2003, but he blew between $350 and $400 million in earnings. Tyson spent his money on a $500,000 420-horsepower Bentley Continental SC; of course there were only 73 of them ever made. Another boxer, Evander Holyfield is also reportedly broke after making $250 million cash boxing -- he reportedly bought a $20 million house as part of his bad decision-making.
Lastly, there is Lenny Dykstra the former baseball player. Dykstra filed for bankruptcy in July 2009 claiming he owed more than $30 million to creditors. After baseball Dykstra tried his hand at a number of business ventures including car washes, a magazine company, real estate, and investing. Ironically after two foreclosed homes, Dykstra is still at it offering investment advice for $899 per year.
More about Scottie Pippen, Chicago bulls, NBA, Basketball, Michael bearak
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