Scottie Pippen Jr. and Sheriff O’Neill team up for the Los Angeles Lakers summer team

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When the door opened at the Los Angeles Lakers training facility on Tuesday, one-court Scottie Pippen Jr. was standing in a bouncing position at the spoiled streak — but he didn’t mumble at any trash talk with Lakers rookie Max Christie as he released his freebies As Pippen’s father once did to Karl Malone.

At a nearby court, Sheriff O’Neill stood at the fouled line and fired shots as well, but he didn’t crack them as far from the edge as his father had earned a reputation for doing.

Scottie Pippen and Shaquille O’Neal are not. But the sons of the NBA Hall of Famers certainly made an interesting inclusion in the Lakers’ summer league roster, which began training for the upcoming California Classic in San Francisco and the NBA 2K23 Summer League in Las Vegas.

“I would definitely say there is a different kind of camaraderie for the guys whose parents played in the NBA,” said Pippen Jr., 21, who exited Vanderbilt and signed a two-way contract with Los Angeles last week. “Because going through this whole process since we were little kids, there’s always a different kind of pressure on us, I’d say. A different kind of expectation. So I take my hat off to all these guys, because playing this game when your dad is so and so is a different kind of pressure. to play in it.”

While O’Neill’s father has an impressive resume with the Lakers organization—having won three championships, three Finals, and MVP in eight seasons with the team—Pipen Jr. has a better chance of joining the Lakers. Menu at the beginning of the boot camp.

22-year-old Sheriff O’Neal also went without drafting after three tough 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 a pre-workout with the Lakers. “My father, Kobe [Bryant] I won championships when I was born, and now I’m wearing Lakers gear and I was — it was crazy. I was speechless, sort of.”

While none of the Lakers’ prospect would be expected to match their parents’ career, they’re more than a first-class curiosity. They both had opponents testing them throughout their growing up in basketball because of the names on the back of their shirts. And if the Golden State Warriors tournament earlier this month is any indication — winning the title with four second-generation NBA players on the roster in Stephen Curry, Clay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II — this track is just as much the ongoing competition as it is a silver spoon. .

“I think people attack me more aggressively just for who I am,” Pippen Jr. said. “But I think that goes for everyone. Everyone with a name has a goal on their back. I embrace it. I think it’s good to go to gyms and everyone wants to get the best of me. So, it’s fun for me.”

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