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Scottie Pippen Returning to Chicago Bulls

July 20, 2003

CHICAGO (AP) _ Scottie Pippen returned to the Chicago Bulls, re-signing with the team he helped lead to six NBA championships.

The team will have an official announcement Sunday, Bulls spokesman Tim Hallam said Saturday night. He would not release terms of the deal.

Pippen was a seven-time All-Star in his 11 seasons with the Bulls, before leaving for the Houston Rockets before the 1999 season. Pippen has spent the last four seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Three weeks ago, Bulls general manager John Paxson, a former teammate of Pippen, raised the possibility that he would like Pippen to return to the Chicago to finish his NBA career where it began.

The Bulls coveted the 37-year-old Pippen, an unrestricted free agent, as both a defensive-minded small forward, and mentor to young players such as Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry.

``More than anything, I want to make him feel welcome,″ Paxson said when he discussed the possibility of re-signing Pippen. ``To me, he would be the perfect veteran leader.″

He averaged 10.8 points and a team-high 4.4 assists last season with the Trail Blazers. But Pippen missed three games in the playoffs because of pain and swelling in his left knee, operated on in March.

Pippen didn’t leave Chicago on the best of terms. When Coach Phil Jackson left and Michael Jordan retired before the 1999 season, Pippen was shipped off in a sign-and-trade deal to Houston by former general manager Jerry Krause.

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