NBA Twitter was on a warpath when the internet caught Minnesota Timberwolves guard, Malik Beasley, on a date with 46-year-old Larsa Pippen, the wife of former Chicago Bulls All-Star Scottie Pippen. This is the type of off-season spectacle that content starving fans just eat up. Giving attention and traction to a story that would have been more or less drowned out during the regular season.
Beasley in the Spotlight
It’s easy to see why NBA Twitter would be mesmerized by all this. Malik Beasley, 24 years-old, just put ink to paper on a newly signed 4-year, $60 million dollar contract. However, that contract isn’t the only major news that was shared about Beasley’s life. The 6’4 guard has also made headlines this offseason by being charged in a Minneapolis court with threats of violence and drug possession after he pulled a hunting rifle out on a couple of house shoppers in his neighborhood. Who says you can’t get media exposure in a market like market Minnesota!
While everyone is enamored about this modern-day NBA version of the Graduate, complete with a main character who has had more offseason stories published about himself than Zion Williamson, what gets lost, or I guess who gets lost in all this is, the 20-year-old guard playing for Vanderbilt, Scottie Pippen Jr.
He Just Wants to Play Basketball
I didn’t want to comment on the relationship between Malik Beasley and Larsa Pippen, but instead, I wanted to talk about a young man fighting his way out of two gigantic shadows. Scotty Pippen Jr. looked to build on his impressive freshman season at Vanderbilt, where he was selected as part of the SEC ALL-Freshman. Some of the names on the list include 2020 number one pick Anthony Edwards and the twenty-first pick Tyrese Maxey. Scotty started his sophomore season with a career-high 25 points, 4 assist, and 3 steals in a 78-71 win over Valparaiso.
In just a few short days, Scotty would go on an emotional rollercoaster from experiencing his most memorable college basketball moment to then getting bullied and ridiculed on the internet for something he had no part in. It’s bad enough he inadvertently has to chase the basketball ghost that is his dad. Being named “Scotty Pippen Jr.” comes with pressure and weight on its own. He has a constant target on his back from opposing fans because he shares the same name as said Hall of Fame father. This isn’t a foreign concept though. Many sons and daughters of former great athletes get compared to their parents. Often times, their achievements are handcuffed to the achievements of their parents. Sadly, there will always be those who feel that Scotty was given a basketball opportunity because of the name he shares, not because of his own work and talent.
No Privacy in 2020
Scotty is just a young man trying to play basketball. However, he is always getting dragged on the internet because of who his parents are. The picture above is some of the Tweets that Scotty Jr. has liked. Scotty Pippen Jr., instead of receiving praise for his performance, was the subject of numerous jokes and insults on the internet. The web can be an unforgiving place and I just wanted to take time to profile him for his basketball talent, instead of his parents.
COVID has made it so that the NCAA is playing games in empty arenas but could you imagine the type of ridicule he would have received from opposing students? I hurl my fair share of idiotic jokes and insults on the internet, but the attacks on Scotty Jr. are uncalled for. I say leave the kid alone and let him play basketball. If you want to make jokes, make it about Malik Beasley not knowing how to spell “conference” instead.
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