EL SEGUNDO, California. Scottie Pippen Jr. was standing on the court in rebounding position near the foul line when the door to the Los Angeles Lakers training center opened on Tuesday, but he didn’t mumble any nonsense at the Lakers. rookie Max Christie as he ran his freebies, as Pippen’s father once did with Karl Malone.
And on the adjacent court, Sharif O’Neal stood on the fall line and also threw punches, but did not beat them off the edge of the field, as his father did.
Scottie Pippen and Shaquille O’Neal – no. But the sons of two NBA Hall of Famers have certainly made interesting additions to the Lakers’ summer league roster as they begin preparations for the upcoming California Classic in San Francisco and NBA Summer League 2K23 in Las Vegas.
“I would definitely say that there’s a different type of camaraderie between guys whose fathers played in the NBA,” said Pippen Jr., 21, who was not drafted to Vanderbilt last week and signed a two-way deal with Los Angeles. . “Because going through this whole process since we were little kids, I would say that there is always a different type of pressure on us. Another type of waiting. So I take my hat off to all these guys because playing this game when your father is such and such is another type of pressure to play with.”
While O’Neal’s father has a brilliant resume in the Lakers organization – after winning three championships, three Finals MVPs, and a regular season MVP in eight seasons with the team – Pippen Jr. has a better chance of making it to the Lakers. Composition at the start of the training camp.
Sharif O’Neal, 22, was also not drafted after three difficult seasons at UCLA and LSU, and the Lakers signed him to a summer league contract.
“I was literally born into this team,” he said last week after pre-draft practice with the Lakers. “My dad, Kobe [Bryant] won championships when I was born, and now I’m wearing the Lakers kit, and I was… it was crazy. I’m speechless, like.”
While none of the Lakers’ prospects can match their fathers’ careers, they represent little more than the curiosity of next of kin. Both have had opponents test them throughout their basketball upbringing because of the names on the backs of their jerseys. And if the Golden State Warriors championship earlier this month is any sign — winning the title with four second-generation NBA players Stephen Curry, Clay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Gary Peyton II — that path is as constant competition as a silver spoon. .
“I think people lash out at me harder just because of who I am,” Pippen Jr. said. “But I think it’s suitable for everyone. Everyone with a name has a target on their back. I accept it. I think it’s good to go to the gyms and everyone wants to get their way.