Retired hoopster Scottie Pippen was playing defense Monday after an encounter over the weekend with an autograph-seeker outside a Malibu, Calif. hot spot.
The former Chicago Bulls standout visited a sheriff’s station voluntarily after he was named as a suspect in a Sunday evening altercation at Nobu, a trendy beachside eatery.
Investigators said a violent argument broke out after an autograph-seeker took photos of Pippen, 47, and his family. The unidentified man was later taken to a hospital with a head injury, investigators said.
But a source said Pippen was the real victim. The fan started the tussle, spit on the ex-athlete and screamed the called him the N-word, the source said, adding that Pippen was holding his 4-year-old daughter at the time.
MARK J. TERRILL/AP
Scottie Pippen wins six NBA championships with the Bulls during his Hall-of-Fame career.
“Can you imagine, you’re out to dinner with your wife, your four kids and your mother-in-law, and someone calls you the N-word and starts to get physical?” the source said, calling the alleged victim’s story a “crock.”
“When Scottie left, this guy had no injuries,” said the source. “Scottie is very upset about the way this has been portrayed.”
Several witnesses described the fan as intoxicated, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
Scottie Pippen has a previous brush with the law in 1999 after getting arrested for drunk driving.
Investigators were still interviewing witnesses Monday and had not yet decided whether to charge Pippen with assault with intent to cause bodily harm. He was released after an hour of questioning.
Pippen’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, was mulling a counter claim against the autograph-seeker for assault and making a false police report, the source said.
The Arkansas-born baller won six NBA titles while a member of Michael Jordan’s Bulls teams and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010
With News Wire Services