Charles Barkley once said that if Scottie Pippen were to ever be murdered, people should know that Pippen hadn’t apologized to him.
The Houston Rockets were lauded as being one of the most premier franchises in the league for about 3 years. After Michael Jordan had retired for the first time in 1993, Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets capitalized on the power vacuum in the NBA and captured two straight titles in 1994 and 1995. These titles were, of course, without Charles Barkley.
The Rockets would try to squeeze every bit of production from aging superstars and stuck to this tactic throughout the rest of the 90s as they signed Clyde Drexler and eventually, Charles Barkley. Their low-post first offense was relatively successful under bench boss Rudy Tomjanovich but couldn’t get over the hump in the Playoffs.
An especially crushing defeat came at the hands of the Utah Jazz in the 1997 WCF where John Stockton drained a buzzer beating 3 in Game 6 to eventually win the series. The 1997-98 season saw a bevy of injuries plague the Rockets and before they knew, Charles Barkley was admitting to the press that he was no longer a great player.
Scottie Pippen and Charles Barkley start to beef.
The 1998-99 season saw Clyde Drexler call it quits and retire from the NBA. With the Rockets looking to go for one final push towards winning the title, they brought on 6x champ Scottie Pippen. Funnily enough, the mere presence of Pippen on the Rockets was a bit detrimental to Barkley as he had to take a paycut to the tune of $1 million to accommodate Pippen on the team.
The Houston Rockets were simply not good even with their aging big-3 of Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley, and Hakeen Olajuwon. They lost 10 games in April and faced off against Shaq’s Lakers in the first round.
Game 1 saw the Lakers on the verge of winning, which led to Chuck hack-a-Shaqing and leading to a made free throw from Shaq. On the other end, Scottie turned the ball over as he simply lost the ball and this led to the Rockets losing Game 1 after O’Neal completely dominated Hakeem, Houston was swept.
Following the game, Scottie and Chuck exchanged blame on the late game mishaps. Scottie claimed Charles should not have fouled Shaq and Chuck said Scottie shouldn’t have been careless with the ball.
Charles Barkley threatens Scottie Pippen with a gun during a media session.
Pippen would request a trade away from Houston after their ‘99 collapse and Charles Barkley claimed that he was disappointed in him. Pippen would go off on Barkley and call him “fat and selfish”.
“I wouldn’t give Charles Barkley an apology at gun point” – Scottie Pippen pic.twitter.com/GGEUVR6rvF
— Wunderkind (@Carnage45__) May 4, 2020
During a promo following the end of their season, Pippen said, “I wouldn’t give Charles Barkley an apology at gun point,” to which Chuck replied, “As you know I always carry a gun with me, so if I get arrested for murder y’all know he didn’t apologize.”
It’s safe to say that the Rockets did good by Barkley and Pippen and traded the latter away to Portland for a bevy of bench players.