Antron Pippen, Scottie Pippen's oldest child, was 33 when he died in April 2021

Advertisement
Scottie Pippen son Antron
Scottie Pippen and son Antron
| Credit: Scottie Pippen/Instagram

NBA legend Scottie Pippen says he is still healing following the unexpected death of his son, Antron Pippen, in April.

"I'm good. I still have my moments of ups and downs, but I'm good," Pippen, who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls during the 1990s, tells PEOPLE. "I will continue to gain strength because today there is none."

The 55-year-old announced Antron's death on April 19 with a post to Instagram that included a heartfelt message that described how the two bonded over their love of basketball. He has not publicly revealed his son's cause of death.

"There's never enough time," Pippen says of coping with the tragedy. "But I've managed, and I'll continue to heal."

Antron, whose mother is Pippen's ex-wife, Karen McCollum, played basketball for both South Georgia Technical College and Texas A&M International.

Pippen was married to McCollum for two years, from 1988 to 1990. He shares his daughter, Taylor, with former girlfriend Sonya Roby, and daughter, Sierra, with ex Yvette Deleone. Taylor is the twin of Pippen's daughter, Tyler, who died shortly after birth. Pippen also has four children with his wife Larsa Pippen: sons Scotty Jr., Preston, Justin, and daughter, Sophia.

Earlier in June, Pippen — who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 — marked his first Father's Day since Antron's death. He spent the day in his home state of Arkansas after hosting a basketball camp at the Farris Center in Conway.

"It was tough," Pippen says. "I was kind of on the road. I did a camp back in Arkansas, so I wasn't really around my kids. I spent it with my siblings in Arkansas."

"I was on the phone with [his children]," he says. "But it was a great Father's Day, I guess."

Along with his basketball camp, Pippen has kept busy this year. He and his business partner, chef R.C. Mills, are preparing to launch their line of healthy popcorn snacks, called Husk, in July, while Pippen is publishing his memoir, Unguarded, on Nov. 16.

"It was a long process," Pippen says of writing the book with co-author, Michael Arkush. "It was a pretty long journey. Going through it during the pandemic made it a little bit tougher to get it done, but it was fun. It made it all worthwhile."

When asked what he hopes readers take away from Unguarded, Pippen says there isn't one thing in particular, but he's "just going to close my eyes" when it comes to the reception.

While Pippen retired from professional basketball in 2004, NBA fans may see his name on the court once again. In April, 20-year-old Scotty Pippen Jr. declared for the 2021 NBA Draft, set for July 29.

"I think he's done a lot of work on preparing himself for his journey," Pippen says of his son Scotty, who plays for Vanderbilt. "I don't know how far it's going to take him, but he's still got three years of eligibility if he decides to go back and get some more experience and develop some more."

"It's been a long journey, watching him grow up as a kid," he adds of the milestone. "I'm enjoying it for him. This is an opportunity for him to grow and see what the next level is like."