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Friday, December 02, 2022

NBA draft combination in Chicago, featuring Scottie Pippen Jr., balances expectations and legacy

202205210716Tms Mngtrpub Sports Observations From Nba Draft Combine Chicago 9 Tb5

Scottie Pippen Jr. knows the power that comes with a name — especially in the NBA combine in Chicago this week.

In his early days playing basketball at Highland Park, Pippen said it was a challenge to carry the family name of Scottie Pippen, the other half of the legendary duo who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships.

Every time he stood on the court, Pippen said the parents pointed him to their children, encouraging them to bring their toughest game against the Hall of Famer’s son.

“Growing up, I’ve always had a name,” Pippen said. “It was always a pressure on me, even as a young kid growing up in Chicago. I’m just used to it. I’m my own person. … I go out there and I compete . My dad is not out with me. In the end, it’s my own legacy.”

Pippen isn’t the same player as his father — at 6-foot-3, he stands 5 inches shorter, playing shooting guard rather than short forward — but he said his father’s guidance is an important one as he plays a role in the NBA’s career. Prepares the draft. ,

And despite becoming a second generation NBA player, Pippen still feels a connection to his father’s legacy.

“We were both underdogs,” Pippen said. “Even though I led the SEC in scoring, I’m not an overly scout[and]I wasn’t talked about excessively.”

With much focus on his family lineage, Pippen refuses to dive into the debate most common to casual and die-hard fans of the NBA – who is the greatest player of all time?

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Despite the longstanding partnership and rivalry between his father and Michael Jordan, Pippen said that his favorite player has always been Kobe Bryant. But without seeing the Chicago legend play in person, Pippen said he couldn’t pass a verdict on the Goat debate.

“I can’t answer that,” Pippen said. “I haven’t seen Michael Jordan play.”

Who was missing?

It has become increasingly common for players selected in the top tiers of the draft to opt out of combinations to avoid the risk of injury.

This year’s opt-out list included some of the top talent entering the draft: Paolo Banchero (Duke), Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga), Jabari Smith Jr. (Auburn), Jaden Ivey (Purdue), Shaydon Sharp (Kentucky) and Ochai Agbaji (Kansas).

Wednesday’s Workout Special

The combination began on Wednesday with a series of workouts to test the physical stamina of the players. Here are the top athletes by measure and practice.

Height: Mark Williams, Duke, 7-foot-2

Wingspan: Williams, 7-6.5

Maximum vertical jump: Kennedy Chandler, Tennessee, 41.5

Permanent Access: Williams, 9-9

vertical jump: EJ Liddell, Ohio State, 35.5

Lane Agility Test: Julian Strother, Gonzaga, 10.3 sec

shuttle run: Dyson Daniels, Ignite (G League), 2.81 sec

Three-quarter sprint: Ryan Rollins, Toledo, 3.07 sec

Highlights of 5-on-5 Scrimmage

With top players out to scrimmage, Thursday and Friday surrounded by less publicity allowed players to make their case for jockeying for spots in the draft. Here are some players to watch after an impressive outing at the Combine.

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Terquawian Smith, State of North Carolina: Smith did enough on the first day of scrambling — scoring 17 points on 6-for-17 shooting — to feel comfortable sitting out on the second day. His shot-making and decision-making in the pick-and-roll showed promise, which paired well with measurements such as a 38.5-inch vertical jump.

Travian Williams, Purdue: It’s easy to get lost in the mix when playing next to Jaden Ivey, who is pitched as one of the top five. But with Ivey out, Williams excelled in combination. Despite struggling with shooting — despite going 6-for-24 in two days of scrimmage — Williams racked up 23 rebounds and 13 assists with a convenient style that could fit well in an NBA offense.

Jalen Williams, Santa Clara: At 6-6, with just over 7-2 wings, Williams’ length creates an interesting prospect as a versatile player who can switch between guard and forward. He scored 19 points in Friday’s scrimmage with decisive playmaking that popped.

Christian Braun, Kansas: Despite being deceptively labeled as athletic when he entered the draft, Braun showed strength and bounce in Wednesday’s practice. But the scrimmage allowed him to stand out to build a profile as a utility player who could score from anywhere on the court while providing a defensive boost.

Andrew Nembard, Gonzaga: Despite sitting out Thursday with a quad injury, Nembard made the most of Friday’s scrimmage with a 26-point, 11-assisted performance.

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