Scottie Pippen is joining ESPN as an NBA analyst, a source with knowledge of the information tells The Big Lead. The source requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. A formal announcement is expected soon. An ESPN spokesman declined to comment.
Pippen, who won six titles as a player on the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, is expected to be on air for about 50 dates during the upcoming NBA season, mostly on The Jump — the daily NBA show hosted by Rachel Nichols that debuted last season — and on SportsCenter.
As we reported earlier this month, NBA Countdown will have its host roles split between Michelle Beadle and Sage Steele this season. Jalen Rose will remain on the show. With Doug Collins headed from a studio analyst role to color commentary on games, ESPN has still not firmed up its analyst roles on Countdown.
The source said that ESPN is “casting a wide net,” and confirmed that this has included “exploratory” talks with Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. This is logical because both are big names based in Los Angeles where Countdown is taped. However, it was characterized by the source as “less than probable” — though not impossible — that Magic would rejoin the network, and it sounds like far less of a chance that Kobe would regularly be on the program.
In-house possibilities from ESPN for Countdown spots include Chauncey Billups and Tracy McGrady.