Lakers News: LA Rookie To Play Rising Stars Game At All-Star Weekend

LA will have some representation on Friday.

Per the South Bay Lakers, two-way LA rookie point guard Scotty Pippen Jr. has been selected to play in the 2023 All-Star Weekend’s Jordan Rising Stars Game in Salt Lake City next month.

Why would Pippen be chosen over, say, Austin Reaves, Max Christie, or Cole Swider? The Rising Stars Game selects promising first- and second-year players, while also including a handful of G League inclusions. The Vanderbilt alum has been tearing it up with South Bay of late, though he hasn’t had much of an impact in his few games for LA proper. Swider has put up more modest numbers for the Lakers’ NBAGL affiliate (14.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 dimes across seven games during the G League’s regular season). 

Reaves is missing his 14th consecutive game tonight with a left hamstring strain, so his questionable availability for next month may have been part of the league’s thinking in not inviting him to partake. Christie has looked good in limited minutes for Los Angeles, but he’s not much of a scorer yet.

Pippen, the son of Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen (the spelling of the elder Pippen’s first name is actually “Scotty,” but because it was so frequently misspelled with the -ie suffix, he opted to just keep it), is averaging is averaging 24.3 points on .509/.410/.792 shooting splits, 6.9 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 0.6 blocks per game for South Bay over the course of the G League season. 

The 22-year-old is averaging 2.3 points on 33.3% field goal shooting, plus 0.7 boards, across just six games for LA.

The game’s seven G League player representatives (which also includes former Laker Mac McClung) were chosen by the NBA office. The other 21 NBA players were chosen by league assistant coaches.

The Rising Stars Game will tip off on Friday night, February 17th, at 6 p.m. PT on TNT.

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