Scotty Pippen Jr. Jumpstarts His NBA Journey With The Los Angeles Lakers
Back in 1991, Magic Johnson led the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals for the ninth time in his historic Hall of Fame career. Magic was seeking a sixth championship ring, but standing in his way was his airness, Michael Jordan, and the upstart Chicago Bulls. At the time, Jordan was considered the best player in the NBA, but the knock on Jordan was the fact that he had a collection of scoring titles, but no championship rings.
When the Bulls and Lakers clashed in the NBA Finals, Magic tried his best to keep Jordan’s ring count at zero, by posting a triple double in Game-1 as the Lakers were victorious, and took a 1-0 lead in the series. Magic was in control at that point, but the series took a significant shift when the Bulls made a strategic move by having Scottie Pippen defend Magic Johnson. The move helped the Bulls win four games in a row, and they collected their first of six championships. Thirty-one years later, the Lakers have a Pippen who doesn’t want to beat them, but instead he’s attempting to join them.
Scotty Pippen Jr. is the son of Chicago Bulls legend and six-time NBA Champion, Scottie Pippen. As a senior in high school, Pippen Jr. helped Sierra Canyon win the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division state title. He would go on to transition to the collegiate level, and play three seasons for the Vanderbilt Commodores. In addition to being a facilitator, Pippen Jr. averaged 20 points per game both his sophomore and junior seasons. He would enter his name in the 2022 NBA Draft, but unfortunately after the two rounds of selections concluded, the name Scotty Pippen Jr. wasn’t called.
A lifeline was thrown to Pippen Jr. on July 1 when the Los Angeles Lakers offered the 21-year-old point guard a two-way contract. With LeBron James in attendance for the Lakers first game of the Las Vegas Summer League, Pippen scored a game high 19 points. He had a good all around game as he collected four rebounds, three assists, and three steals. The Lakers finished the Summer League season with a record of 3 wins and 2 losses. Pippen is still a work in progress type of player as he showed the good and the bad during his five game tenure in the Summer League.
The 6-foot-3 Pippen showed his offensive ability to make plays for his teammates, hit the mid-range shot, and he displayed his ability to consistently score by driving to the basket. Pippen’s most eye-catching flaws are the turnovers, and the lack of a consistent outside shot. On defense, Pippen has shown good instincts, intensity, hustle, and quick hands. Statistically, he finished Summer League play averaging 11.8 points a game, 4.8 assists, and 2.8 steals.
Now that the Summer League is over, Scotty Pippen Jr. will go on to the next phase with his G-League team the South Bay Lakers. Participation in the G League will give Pippen the opportunity to improve his skill set before possibly getting called up to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Considering all of the social media GOAT conversations in regards to Michael Jordan and LeBron James, it would be ironic that decades ago it was routine to hear Pippen to Jordan, but currently if things go according to plan, we may soon hear Pippen Jr. to James.
NBA hopeful Scotty Pippen Jr. By: Vince D’Writer