EL SEGUNDO, California. — When the door opened Tuesday at the Los Angeles Lakers training facility, Scottie Pippen Jr. stood in a rebounding position at the foul line on a court — but no trash talk to the Lakers rookie. As Max Christie he launched his freebies like his father once did to Karl Malone.
And on an adjoining court, Sharif O’Neill stood on the foul line and fired shots, but didn’t get him off the rim because his father had developed a reputation for doing so.
Scotty Pippen and Shaquille O’Neill are not they. But the sons of two NBA Hall of Famers made sure to make for interesting inclusion in the Lakers summer league roster, which began practice for the upcoming California Classic in San Francisco and the NBA 2K23 Summer League in Las Vegas.
“I would definitely say there’s a different kind of camaraderie to people whose father played in the NBA,” said 21-year-old Pippen Jr., who dropped out of Vanderbilt and signed a two-way contract with L.A. last week. . “Since going through this whole process since we were little kids, there’s always been a different kind of pressure on us, I would say. A different kind of expectation. So I give my hats to all those people who play this game. Time is a different kind of pressure to play on your father like that.”
While O’Neill’s father has a sterling resume with the Lakers organization — winning three championships, three finals MVPs and one regular season MVP in eight seasons with the team — Pippen Jr. has a better chance of being on the Lakers roster. . At the start of the training camp.
After three challenging seasons at UCLA and LSU, 22-year-old Sharif O’Neill also remained unfinished and the Lakers signed him to a summer league contract.
“I was literally born into this team,” he said last week after a pre-draft workout with the Lakers. “My dad, Kobes [Bryant] Won championships when I was born and now I’m wearing Lakers gear and I was – it was crazy. I was speechless, kind of.”
While neither Lakers’ prospects are expected to match their father’s career, they are more than the next-kin-curio. Both have opponents testing them during their basketball upbringing because of the names on the back of their jerseys. And if the Golden State Warriors championship earlier this month is any indication — winning the title with four second-generation NBA players on the roster in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Gary Peyton II — that path is as much as constant competition because This is a silver spoon.
Pippen Jr. said, “I feel like people come at me just because of who I am.” “But I think it goes for everyone. Everyone has a name, they have a goal on their back. I embrace it. I think it’s cool to go to the gym and have everyone get my best.” Wants to. So, it’s fun for me.”