The NBA League is one of the premier events on the NBA calendar. It’s in a premium location in Las Vegas, but also taking place at the center of the free-agency period, the crowd it attracts at the Thomas & Mack Center is abundant.
Not only do fans head out to Las Vegas, but NBA stars and players also go to support their young teammates. For the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook were some of the notable players their representing the Purple and Gold during the team’s opener on Friday night.
It was a blessing in disguise that James was sitting courtside behind one of the baskets because after Lakers rookie guard Scotty Pippen Jr. fell after an and-1 finish, James got up to help up the rookie and made a memory the two will have for a while:
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 9, 2022
After the game, Pippen talked about that moment.
“Yeah I guess that was cool,” Pippen said. “He kind of threw me up a little too high, but it was cool to have him you know that helped me up.”
Cool moments like a four-time NBA champion helping you up off the floor happen during Summer League, which resonate well with the young guys.
With some of the spotlight being shared by James, Westbrook and the Lakers’ front office members in attendance during a crucial offseason, the opportunity to see veteran teammates in the arena supporting you is a special sight to see for Pippen.
“I think it is a great environment, every kid’s dream is to play in the NBA, so I think this is the first step there, Pippen Jr said. The environment was crazy, especially playing for the Lakers. I think we one of the more packed games and having guys like LeBron, Russ, THT, all those guys in the stands support us is a great feeling.”
Pippen was one of the lone bright spots for the Lakers in their 104-84 loss to the Phoenix Suns, dropping 19 points to go along with four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Westbrook gave Pippen tips from bench
While James was sitting under the basket, Westbrook was on the other side of the gym next to the Lakers’ bench. He was seen coaching up the team’s young players at times, which Pippen was appreciative of.
“Yeah, it was good to have him there. He gave me some advice early on when they were pressuring me and stuff. So he gave me some pointers and I ended up using them to get some buckets,” Pippen said.”
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