EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — When the door opened Tuesday at the Los Angeles Lakers’ practice facility, Scotty Pippen Jr. was on a pitch in rebounding position at the foul line — but he didn’t mumble a chatter with the Lakers. rookie Max Christie as he tossed his presents like Pippen’s father once did for Karl Malone.
And on an adjacent pitch, Shareef O’Neal stood at the foul line and also shot, but didn’t smack them over the edge as his father gained a reputation for doing.
Scottie Pippen and Shaquille O’Neal are not. But the sons of the two NBA Hall of Famers have certainly made some interesting inclusions on the Lakers’ summer league roster, which has started training 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 for guys whose dads played in the NBA,” said 21-year-old Pippen Jr., who wasn’t drafted from Vanderbilt and signed a contract at double meaning with LA last week. “Because going through this whole process since we were little, there’s always been a different kind of pressure on us, I would say. A different kind of expectation. So my hats off to all these guys, because playing to this game when your dad is so-and-so is a different kind of pressure to play.”
While O’Neal’s father has the resume with the Lakers organization — having won three championships, three Finals MVPs and a regular season MVP in eight seasons with the team — Pippen Jr. has better chances of being on the Lakers. roster at the start of training camp.
Shareef O’Neal, 22, went undrafted after three tough seasons at UCLA and LSU, and the Lakers signed him to a summer league contract.
“I was literally born on 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 the one putting on Lakers gear and I was — it was crazy. I was kind of speechless.”
While no Lakers prospects are meant to match their dad’s career, they are more than close odds. Both were tested by opponents throughout their basketball education 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 of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II — so is that path. constant competition because it’s a silver spoon.
“I think people pick on me more just because of who I am,” Pippen Jr. said. back. I accept it. I think it’s good to go to gyms and everyone wants to do my best. So that’s fun for me.”