Olden Polynice expected to get drafted by the SuperSonics as the 5th pick in the 1987 draft. Then the commissioner David Stern came out and said: “With the 5th pick, the Seattle SuperSonics select Scott Pippen” while Olden was already getting up to go to the stage. He sat down, looked at his agent and thought “What is happening and who is this Scott Pippen guy?”
A few picks later, he would get the surprise of his life. Polynice never even worked out for the Chicago Bulls, and with the 8th pick, the Bulls selected him. All he could think about was that he would play with Michael Jordan. About 40 minutes later, it was announced that the Chicago Bulls and Seattle SuperSonics agreed to a draft-day trade that would send Pippen to the Bulls and Polynice to Seattle. In the end, he ended up in Seattle and the Sonics got an extra pick out of the Bulls for Pippen.
Still, the question remained – who is this Scott Pippen? And I know what you are thinking, “Why is he using the wrong name, it’s Scottie, not Scott?!” I’m not, everyone else was. When he got drafted, David Stern referred to him as “Scott”, the tv analysts did and so did the other players, primarily because they had never heard of this kid.
I hade never met that man before till that day. When the commissioner said “Scott Pippen”, all of us were like “Who’s Scott Pippen??” We’ve all been university guys, we didn’t know who Scottie Pippen was. It’s a credit to him and his work ethic to be drafted with the 5th pick. We didn’t know who he was at that time.Olden Polynice on FAIR GAME
Scottie Maurice Pippen was drafted fifth from Central Arkansas college. Pippen was a 6’1 walk-on who started as a point guard. Between his freshmen and sophomore year, Pippen grew six inches, and in the end, entered the draft at 6’8. He wasn’t known on the college scene, as Central Arkansas played in the NAIA.
With all the credit that goes to Pippen for becoming a player that would get drafted 5th from a small college, we should give some to the Bulls for scouting him and selecting an unknown player in 1987, before YouTube and House of Highlights. Imagine that, a competent Bulls front office.