ATLANTA — The NBA Draft is Thursday night on Channel 2 and there’s still questions around who the Atlanta Hawks will select with the No. 16 pick.
Over the past few weeks, the Hawks have held several pre-draft workouts with several players. Two of them grew up playing against each other and have NBA legends for dads.
“It’s a dream come true. It’s crazy to be doing NBA workouts right now,” Shareef O’Neal told Channel 2′s Alison Mastrangelo.
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Shareef O’Neal and Scotty Pippen Jr. are used to getting asked about their fathers. That’s because both of them are Hall of Famers.
Shaq played 20 years in the league and won four NBA Titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. Pippen played 17 years and won six championships with the Chicago Bulls dynasty.
“I asked him, ‘Do they ask you about your dad in the interview?’ He’s like yeah. I was like, ‘me too,’” O’Neal said. “Me and Scotty have a great connection. We have a lot in common. Scotty’s my boy forever and glad to see him here in the process.
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Shareef and Scotty say they don’t know what it’s like to not grow up with NBA icons as dads.
They don’t feel any extra pressure as they work toward making their own name for themselves in the NBA.
“Me and my dad talk about the draft all the time. Our journeys are a lot different though,” Pippen said. “He told me to control what I can control. It will all settle on draft night.”
As they both wait for draft night, they’re getting more excited but also a little anxious.
“As a kid, I dreamed of this moment. Every day that goes by, I’m not taking it for granted,” Pippen said.
“I have to prove myself every day for the rest of my life with the last name on my back,” O’Neal said. “Every day I rest, there’s always someone getting better. So I gotta get better every day.
O’Neal said Shaq wanted him to stay in school and get his degree, but he wanted to enter the draft.
So they made a deal: He would eventually finish and get his degree. Shareef just wanted to go for basketball first.
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