Underneath the shade of sprawling trees and bushes, NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen is netting shot after shot. “Bro, stop doing the same shots!” his son Justin exclaims as Scottie rotates between shooting from the court’s imaginary elbows in their backyard in Hidden Hills. Periodically, he’ll bank one in, nodding to his son that he’s still got that masterful shooting touch.

It’s a beautiful afternoon in mid-May and we’re at the Pippens home for a “Day in the Life” shoot with Tissot, and Justin and Scottie are going back and forth in their game of PIG. Well, initially, they were playing HORSE, but as the ball continued to find the net, both father and son quickly realized they’d be there until dusk if they didn’t make a pivot. So, PIG it is.

Scottie’s got just one letter; P, while Justin looks to save himself from elimination on the right wing. As soon as the shot clanks off the back iron, Scottie begins to celebrate. But Justin still has a shot at redemption. Right?

“I feel like I defeated that kid twice,” Scottie explains. “I’ve played PIG numerous times in my life, and I’ve never heard of you getting a second shot after you miss. I went with his rules, but in my world, I won twice. But in his world, he won once. So, I’ll let him win once.”

In Justin’s mind, and by the book for some players, if you miss your first shot on the last letter of PIG, you automatically receive a second shot to redeem yourself. If you make the second, you play on. If you miss, game over.

“There was not a new rule,” Justin says in his defense. “We played PIG, he had me at P-I and then for the last shot on G, you get two shots if you miss it. I don’t know [how] he never heard that. That’s how me and my brothers grew up playing. I can call [them] right now and I’ll ask [them] and [they’ll] tell me the same thing.”

Right on cue, the youngest Pippen whips out his phone and Facetimes his older brother Scotty Pippen Jr., who just finished his second season in the League with the Memphis Grizzlies. There’s no brotherly catchup, no “How are you doin?” It’s straight to business. Justin asks and Scotty Jr. answers: “When we grew up playing, yeah.”

Competitiveness runs in the Pippen family, from the hardwood to Connect 4 and Monopoly. As we prepare to walk with the two through a typical day in their lives, both father and son are giving each other a hard time. The quips aren’t negative, they’re purposeful. As Scottie puts it, the banter builds a competitive edge while instilling confidence. Coaches say it all the time: “Worry when I’m not giving you a hard time.”

Scottie’s got six NBA championships to his name, Scotty Pippen Jr.’s carving out the beginnings of his career in the L after dicing up the SEC at Vanderbilt. Now, it’s Justin’s turn.


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