The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said it won't prosecute Pippen because it can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt Pippen is guilty of a crime in the June incident at a restaurant in Malibu, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
Pippen, 47, was dining at Nobu restaurant with his wife, children, two brothers and mother-in-law when a fan, Camran Shafighi, approached him for a photo. Pippen agreed to have his photograph taken, but declined posing with the man, prosecutors said in a statement.
As Pippen and his family left the restaurant, Shafighi, approached Pippen again, cursing and spitting at the basketball star. Prosecutors said Pippen spat back and pushed Shafighi away.
Shafighi allegedly attempted to kick Pippen, who allegedly kicked and punched the man in return, witnesses said.
Prosecutor William Ryder said Pippen's pushing was "justifiable and the spitting is unprosecutable." He said evidence was insufficient because Shafighi was drunk, lacked physical injuries -- though he had been hospitalized with a concussion -- and the witnesses' description of the blows was inadequate.
Shafighi sued Pippen for $4 million for what he called a "brutal and unjustified physical attack," the Times said.
Pippen, 47, was a seven-time all-star and won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. He also played for Houston and Portland during an NBA career that stretched from 1987 to 2004.