New details have emerged regarding the weekend altercation between former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen and an autograph-seeker that left the man hospitalized with a head injury.
The unidentified victim was inside a restaurant, Nobu Malibu in Malibu, Calif., taking photos as Pippen dined with his family Sunday evening, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Patrick Davoren said. When Pippen went outside to the parking lot, the man continued taking pictures and sought the Hall of Famer’s autograph, Davoren said. An argument ensued that led to the violence, investigators said.
But on Tuesday the New York Daily News reported, citing a source, that Pippen may have been provoked by the alleged victim.
According to the source in the report, it was the fan who started the fight. The source said the fan spit on Pippen and called him a racial slur. Pippen was also holding his 4-year-old daughter at the time, the source told the Daily News.
The source went on to add that, “When Scottie left, this guy had no injuries. Scottie is very upset about the way this has been portrayed.”
Pippen’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, is considering a counter claim against the fan for assault and making a false police report, the source said.
Several witnesses described the fan as intoxicated, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
Investigators were interviewing several witnesses on Monday to determine whether Pippen should be charged with assault with intent to commit great bodily harm.
"Right now it’s under investigation," Whitmore said on Monday. "We have to interview everybody to find out what happened."
Several witnesses described the man as intoxicated, Whitmore said.
Nobu has been a Malibu mainstay for nearly 15 years and is frequented by celebrities.
The 47-year-old Pippen won six NBA titles with Michael Jordan and the Bulls, and in 1996 was named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Pippen is a special adviser to the Bulls’ president and chief operating officer. The team declined to comment Monday.