Scottie Pippen Is Popping Off About Plenty, Including Popcorn
Pippen and chef R.C. Mills just launched a new organic popcorn company called HUSK
In the past month, Scottie Pippen released a bourbon called Digits, with distiller Dave Phinney, and a line of organic popcorn called HUSK, with chef R.C. Mills, in addition to promoting his memoir Unguarded, which will be released in November.
Those three Pippen projects flew a bit under the radar, as the six-time NBA champ’s recent media tour largely resulted in headlines highlighting what the 55-year-old had to say about Kevin Durant‘s failings, Phil Jackson allegedly making racially motivated moves and other lightning-rod subjects.
Now, a few weeks removed from the media tour, Pippen is looking to the future, not the past.
“I think a lot of times people just pick up the paper and see the headline. If you didn’t see the interview or you didn’t hear the question, then you’re already being misled,” he tells InsideHook. “I would say there is probably a little bit that I regret — how it was baited out to me — but I more or less focus on positive things. I think we’ve all had different issues of racism in our lives, so we don’t always have to tell the story every day about it. I know how to handle abuse. I know how to handle questions and how to answer them. Some things you have to tune out and maybe direct the answer in a different direction. For me, I would rather move on and move forward. I’m out to promote the products and not to promote any negative news surrounding my name or any product that I’m promoting. I’m out to be positive.”
The desire for positivity and to create good energy is one of the reasons Pippen is making a foray into the health and wellness space alongside Mills, whom he met during his playing days, with HUSK.
“I met R.C. several times in passing. He worked in some of the five-star restaurants and hotels I was able to stay at and dine in over my NBA career,” Pippen says. “He introduced me to popcorn, VINPOP, which is made with real wine. That led to us connecting, one thing led to another and we became business partners in a few joint ventures. From there, we just started to tinker with R.C.’s mind because he’s the one that created VINPOP. He also was the creator of HUSK.”
Similar to his business partner, Mills is passionate about his GMO-free, vegan popcorn.
“To me, popcorn has been wide open. It’s been sitting there in front of us the whole time,” he tells InsideHook. “When you go to a store, all you see the majority of the time is 200 different brands making the same popcorn. But there is so much more you can do with popcorn. It’s a tremendous carrier, so to speak. What I mean is you can basically flavor it with anything and it tastes good. Parents have trouble getting their kids to eat vegetables and fruits. My thought was, why don’t we figure out a way to put vegetables together with popcorn, add superfood ingredients and make a delicious snack with nutrients? Popcorn is one of those snacks everybody already loves.”
To bring the fresh take on the standard snack to the masses, Pippen is using one of skills he relied on while playing in the NBA: teamwork.
“Nothing that I’m doing is me doing it alone. It’s all been a team effort,” he says. “A lot of the things I learned from basketball carry throughout life in terms of how the world works. To be successful, you’ve got to have a team. It’s not about one individual. You see the name of Bill Gates and other very successful people, but they didn’t do that alone. It was a group. It was a team. It’s always one name that maybe stands out, but it really takes a team to be successful.”
And, as Michael Jordan and Bulls fans know, it takes a Pippen to have a successful team.
“I’ll put it to you this way. I understand why Michael Jordan has had a lot of success with Scottie as a partner,” Mills says. “Imagine having a partner who understands strategy and the lay of the land, so to speak. It’s been a tremendous benefit having Scottie as a partner and I can’t thank him enough for all that he’s done. We’re pretty excited about the future.”
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