Lakers Draft Workouts: Scotty Pippen Jr. Discusses Love For Kobe Bryant Growing Up
Scotty Pippen Jr. Lakers
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Without a pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers have been working out prospects who could fall late into the second round or undrafted.

Fortunately, the Lakers have shown a keen sense of identifying prospects who can come in and help immediately despite the lack of draft capital. In their most recent draft workouts, Vanderbilt’s Scotty Pippen Jr. headlined the group, and he would be an instant source of offense for any team that drafts him.

Pippen played his junior and senior year at Los Angeles high school powerhouse Sierra Canyon and is already familiar with the area and team. Pippen revealed his favorite player growing up was Kobe Bryant, which he admitted would make it a full-circle moment if he were to be drafted by the Lakers.

“I moved out to L.A. my last two years of high school,” Pippen said. “So L.A. became a new home to me. So I’ve definitely kept in touch with them growing up. Kobe Bryant was my favorite player. So I feel like it would be a surreal feeling to be drafted here. So I think it’s good to finally be able to get in and get a workout in here.”

As a fellow scoring guard, Pippen also acknowledged that he modeled some of his offensive game after the Lakers legend. “Yeah, I think people say I use the pump-fake a lot, and I actually got that from him. Just being able to draw fouls pump-faking. I grew up wearing his jersey number and stuff like that. So I was a big Kobe fan.”

Pippen isn’t the only prospect who has named Bryant their favorite player, as UCLA’s Jules Bernard also expressed his love for the Black Mamba after his workout. Aside from his admiration for Bryant, Pippen is a solid scoring prospect, and it would be easy to imagine his fit with the Purple and Gold.

Scotty Pippen Jr. unfazed by NBA environments

As the son of NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, the younger Pippen believes his experience around NBA environments gives him an edge over some of his peers.

“I think in some factors it does. I think it doesn’t really faze me. I don’t go into these arenas like shocked by the names and the stands and stuff like that. Because growing up as a kid, I was always in the Bulls facility seeing MJ, my dad, [Dennis] Rodman. Their jerseys hanging up there. So I think the pressure could get to people that’s having GMs and stuff sitting in the building watching them. I think in that aspect, I have an advantage, and it’s the feedback I’ve gotten from my dad. I think that helps me as well.”

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