By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor
The sons of two NBA Hall of Famers, Scotty Pippen and Shaquille O’Neal, will play together on the Los Angeles Lakers’ summer league team.
Shareef O’Neal, 22, is the son of Shaquille O’Neal, 50. His father played in the NBA from 1992 to 2010.
Scotty Pippen, Jr., 21, is the son of six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen who played most of his career alongside Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls. Pippen played in the NBA from 1987 to 1999. Of the two sons, Pippen, Jr. is generally viewed as the better prospect as O’Neal has had to contend with some injuries.
On June 28, the LA Lakers summer league roster players started practice for the upcoming California Classic in San Francisco and NBA 2K23 in Las Vegas, according to ESPN. The two sons of the superstars practiced at the Los Angeles Lakers training facility. Whether they will make the team remains an unanswered question — as it is for every prospect in such a hugely competitive professional sports league.
“I would definitely say there’s a different type of camaraderie for guys whose dads played in the NBA,” said Pippen Jr., 21, to reporters. Pippen Jr. was undrafted as he departed Vanderbilt. He signed a two-way contract with Los Angeles.
Although the pressure of being the son of a famous sports star could be an added issue for Pippen and O’Neal, pressure in general for prospects is already high. The percentage of college players that actually make it into the NBA is only 1.2 percent.
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent investigative journalist and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is a political analyst who appears regularly on #RolandMartinUnfiltered. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on twitter at @LVBurke