Struggling for two seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t get much stronger during the draft, where they only had pick 35. However, the Angelinos decided to give two unselected players a chance: Scotty Pippen Jr and Shareef O’Neal. The sons of the two legends arrive to compete in the Summer League, where all eyes will be on them.
While the sons of basketball legends are usually expected at the turn, two of them have just joined the Los Angeles Lakers, and not least. If they had both shown up in Draft 2022, Scotty Pippen Jr. and Shareef O’Neal were not selected, however, the Angelinos nevertheless wanted to give the 21 and 22-year-old players a chance. The first of them has signed a two-way contract, which will allow him to play in the NBA as well as at the lower level, in the G-League. For the child of Big Shaq, this one has only received an invitation for the Summer League, and will have to prove that he can bring something in order to hope for more. A chance for the two Americans, aware that the basketball world has its eyes on them.
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“It will be fun to play in the room where my father won titles”
It is true that Scotty Pippen Jr. and Shareef O’Neal don’t have easy names to wear in this league. Indeed, the father of the first was one of the great craftsmen of the dynasty of Chicago Bulls alongside Michael Jordan, and has 6 league titles, while the latter was crowned 4 times, and was also named MVP of the 2000 season. However, the latter are excited to wear this jersey , as confided O’Neal : “It will be fun to play in the room where my father won titles. It will be pleasant. I almost grew up in this room, I know it like the back of my hand. I was born in 2000 and my dad and Kobe Bryant won the title that year. Kobe was like a mentor to me, like my dad obviously.”he explains in remarks relayed by USA Basketball.
“It’s even harder when your father played in the NBA, because people look at you differently”
Nevertheless, Scotty Pippen Jr. remains aware that critics can fall more quickly for him and his new teammate, given the expectations placed on them because of their name: “I think every son of NBA players wants to play in the NBA. It’s a brotherhood. It’s even harder when your father played in the NBA, because people look at you differently, judge you. Children have always been hard on me, because of my name. Whether positive or negative, it gives me motivation to play. Having this opportunity in front of me is a dream come true. I’ve been thinking about it since I was a kid.” explained the 21-year-old player, in comments relayed by USA Basketball. O’Neal and Pippen Jr. in any case will not have had to wait long before taking their first steps in the jersey of Los Angeles Lakers.
O’Neal and Pippen Jr played their first game
For the first match of this Summer League, the Los Angeles Lakers were opposed to Miami Heat. A meeting that allowed us to observe the sons of the two legends. Incumbent, Scotty Pippen Jr. showed well, since with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and an interception in 25 minutes, this one has one of the most filled statistical lines of the game. On his side, Shareef O’Neal started on the bench, but was still able to play almost 16 minutes, during which he shot 6 points, 6 rebounds and an assist.