NBA star Pippen questioned in Nobu assault

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Scottie Pippen

A routine family dinner outing apparently went south fast this weekend for former NBA star Scottie Pippen, who is under investigation for allegedly assaulting a man outside of Nobu restaurant in Malibu around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. 

Pippen was questioned and released Monday at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Malibu/ Lost Hills Station over the accusations. Officials confirmed Pippen remains a suspect for felony assault, but there are still plenty of pieces to put together. 

Pippen, who was said to be visiting Malibu from Chicago, was dining at the popular restaurant with his family when a fan apparently began snapping photos of the six-time NBA champion inside the popular sushi spot, said Captain Patrick Davoren of the Malibu/ Lost Hills Sheriff’s station. 

As Pippen left the restaurant, the fan approached him outside in the parking lot and a “physical altercation” ensued, according to Sheriff’s investigator Lt. Dave Thompson. Both Pippen and the alleged victim acknowledged some sort of physical contact took place, but authorities declined to elaborate on the extent of the alleged assault. 

“There was definitely some physicality during the encounter,” Thompson said. 

A sheriff’s spokesman told the Los Angeles Times that the accuser appeared to be intoxicated on Sunday evening. 

Af t e r the encount e r, Thompson said Pippen got into his vehicle and left the restaurant. 

Pippen’s family later phoned the sheriff ’s department Sunday evening on their own accord and have been fully cooperative through the investigation and questioning, Thompson said. 

“It wasn’t like he snuck away. He was just leaving the location. He didn’t run and hide. His wife called that night,” Thompson said. 

After Pippen had left Nobu, the alleged victim complained of a head injury and was taken to a local hospital for observation Sunday night, according to Davoren, and released Monday morning. 

Investigators conducted a preliminary interview with the victim Monday, according to Thompson, but would likely be conducting follow-up interviews with him and others who may have witnessed the tussle. 

“They’re gonna talk to everybody again,” Thompson said. He said the investigation could last several weeks. 

Davoren said investigators still planned on interviewing the victim and “two or three” people who witnessed the incident in the parking lot. Investigators also planned on requesting surveillance footage from Nobu management. However, one worker at Nobu told The Malibu Times that Nobu does not have surveillance cameras in its parking lot. 

“We haven’t had any surveillance turn up,” Thompson said Tuesday. “But there always seems to be some … camera phone that comes up a few days later. Everyone’s got one of those.” 

“We’re getting different stories from different perspectives,” Davoren said. “We’ll just have to see how it pans out.” 

Pippen played in the NBA for 17 seasons, including 12 with the Chicago Bulls, and won six championships. He was inducted into basketball’s Hall of Fame in 2010. He currently works as a special advisor to the president and chief operating officer of the Chicago Bulls.