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Scottie Pippen questioned, released in alleged Malibu assault

Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen was questioned Monday by authorities in connection with an alleged assault Sunday evening in Malibu, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman said.

Pippen was questioned by authorities and was allowed to leave without being arrested, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said. The NBA star was cooperative during the interview, Whitmore said.

Law enforcement sources had told The Times that they expected Pippen to be arrested and released, but Whitmore said detectives concluded after the interview that the case was "a more complex situation" and would require more investigation to determine whether Pippen or anybody else should be arrested.

A statement issued by the sheriff's department earlier Monday said Pippen was wanted on suspicion of assault with intent to commit great bodily injury.

Witnesses told authorities the former basketball player was "one of the combatants" in the incident, reported at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the 22700 block of Pacific Coast Highway, the department statement said. Responding deputies found a man with a head injury who was taken to a hospital and released Monday morning.

Pippen, whose NBA career spanned nearly two decades, is best known for his 11 seasons with the Chicago Bulls, where he and Michael Jordan led the team to six championships in the 1990s. He was part of the much-revered "Dream Team" that won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, and earned another gold at the 1996 games.

He works as a special advisor to the Bulls' president and chief operating officer, according to his Facebook page.

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kate.mather@latimes.com

richard.winton@latimes.com

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