Scottie Pippen promised not to return

In a game against the Knicks in the 1994 NBA Eastern Conference semifinals, Scottie Pippen refused to take the floor with 1.8 seconds remaining after Phil Jackson designed a potential game-winning play for Toni Kukoc rather than Pippen.

Pippen was accused of being selfish, cowardly, a quitter and worse.

The Bulls had to get rid of him. He was a civic &to=http:// ' target=_blank>disgrace. He should never show his face in this town again.

Pippen, who already had played on three Bulls &to=http:// ' target=_blank>championship teams, went on to play on three more. On Tuesday, he retired with words of thanks for a job well done ringing in his ear and his place in Chicago's sports legacy secure.

Pippen's retirement comes at the same time a storm of criticism has descended on Sammy Sosa, who, like Pippen, committed a foolish and regrettable act -- leaving Wrigley Field before the final game of the season was played and apparently lying about it, Chicago Sun Times reported.

"As I stand here and as I look back, I don't think Michael (Jordan) had any championship trophies without me," said the seven-time All-Star, who directed the Bulls' famed triangle offense with his ballhandling skills.

Last season, the Bulls brought Pippen back to work with their young team, but he had knee surgery in December and played in only 23 games as the Bulls went 23-59.

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