El ‘Dream Team’ left a mark of his time in Barcelona at the Olympics and now his heirs are looking to carve out a niche for themselves in Spanish basketball like their predecessors did. It is the case of Laura Stockton, daughter of the legendary base of the Utah Jazz and who has just landed in Spain to play for CAB Estepona, which plays in the LF Challenge, and Kavion Pippen, nephew of the legendary Chicago Bulls forward who arrived last September to become owner and lord of the hoops in the Real Valladolid Basketball.
Best rebounder (five rebounds per game) and third highest scorer for the Pucelano team (11 points per game), this 2.08 pvot raised in Southern Illinois had to emigrate to Europe to try to make his own career, far from the surname that his uncle Scottie extolled. A family legacy that weighs but of which Kavion is proud: “I don’t feel as much pressure, but I understand that being the nephew of who I am can make the spotlight more on me.”
Pippen, a surname that is everything in the NBA and in basketball. However, Scottie is considered one of the best forwards of all time after 17 seasons in the best league in the world from which it was proclaimed six times champion with Michael Jordan (“I can’t talk about the argument with him and my uncle. When they played together I was just a kid,” replies Kavion) and in which he averaged 16.1 points and 6.4 rebounds. “At 10-11 years old I began to realize who my uncle was and how great he had been.”
With 10-11 years I began to realize who my uncle was and how great he had been
Despite the greatness of his uncle, Kavion has decided to make his own way in the world of basketball. He maintains a very good relationship with the former Bulls, Rockets and Trail Blazers player, but has preferred not to use his influence to achieve his goals: “I have never asked him for anything during my entire career. I have always wanted to go on doing and discovering things for myself. I want to make my own way. Although it is true that he is always there to give me some advice if I need it”.
Kavion did not even turn to the former member of the Dream Team to ask him about his second experience outside the United States (the first was in Tunisia last season) and about a country that he knew and that the player from the Valladolid team would like to invite to come back: “We haven’t talked about it, but I would love for him to come visit me and I know he would too. Who would not want to come to Spain? But I understand that you are very busy. I know he supports me in this adventure.”
At the moment, Pippen’s time in Valladolid is being somewhat bittersweet because the team’s results are not accompanying him as much as he would like. “The season in terms of winning games could be better than it has been so far. But I think that with small adjustments and some changes we have an opportunity to do something good with the group of players we have,” says the Arkansas pvot who, For now, he gives his first season in Spanish basketball a 7.
“For me it means a lot to be in Spain. One of the most famous countries in world basketball. In fact, in LEB Oro there is a high level of basketball. It’s a very tough league where everyone fights and you can’t underestimate any opponent on the pitch.. Thank God the coaches are helping me a lot to adjust “, affirms Kavion that he still has to work to adapt to a refereeing level that is being one of his biggest moles this season.”I wouldn’t say that the referees are strict, but I have to be more careful with the fouls I make on the court.“. You can still ask your uncle Scottie for advice. He has plenty of boards for that.