NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is drawing big crowds as media interest and buzz continues to rise even during the offseason:
Via the NY Times:
LAS VEGAS — The games may be exhibitions, and most of the players may be fringe candidates to make N.B.A. rosters, but the operation is highly professional.
“We provide a credible product,” said Warren LeGarie, executive director of the N.B.A.’s Las Vegas summer league. “We also know we have to put on a show.”
Featuring 24 of the league’s 30 teams and the top five picks from the recent N.B.A. draft, the Las Vegas summer league is the most important event on the N.B.A.’s summer calendar. “We are the Burning Man of basketball,” LeGarie said, later trying out an analogy involving the Mos Eisley cantina from “Star Wars.”
N.B.A. teams are testing their rookies, and scouting players for the end of the bench. Foreign teams are searching for players who are not good enough for the N.B.A. but good enough for Greece or South Korea. Executives are here to wheel and deal, owners are here to meet with one another, and the news media is here to talk with sources.
ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz on the behind the scenes chatter among NBA Executives convening at NBA’s Las Vegas Sumer League:
LAS VEGAS — Summer league is the closest thing the NBA has to an industry conclave, and industry conclaves tend to be more about the chatter than the official events. Even though the league unfurled its most anticipated draft class in years this past week, the insiders who populate the VIP sections of the Thomas & Mack Center and its little brother, Cox Pavilion, were consumed with the same stories that propelled the news cycle for fans.
Some of that can be attributed to a free agency period that bled into the summer-league schedule, or that LeBron James announced his decision to return to Cleveland nine hours before Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker squared off in their NBA debuts, or that none of the touted rookies really dazzled.
“Ask me in five years,” says one NBA head coach about the rookie crop.
Whatever the case, this year’s rookie class didn’t wow the league’s decision-makers. Read the rest of this entry
Las Vegas NBA Summer League Standouts: Blazers Damian Lillard and Grizzlies Josh Selby Named Co-MVP’s
Sports Media World was out in Las Vegas for 10 days to cover the Las Vegas NBA Summer League while also catching up with players, various media, agents and our league wide network of friends. CBS Sports Ben Golliver takes a look at some of the best performances during the past week:
Las Vegas Summer League Standouts & Surprises
Memphis Grizzlies G Josh Selby: The 2012 second-round pick shared co-MVP honors with Lillard after torching the competition throughout the week. The explosive, undersized shooting guard’s signature performance came when he scored 35 points against the Washington Wizards and he was a crowd favorite for his fearless attitude and quick trigger. He will join an ultra-intriguing Grizzlies backcourt that includes Mike Conley, Tony Allen and 2012 first-round pick Tony Wroten, who showed flashes of brilliant passing and elite athleticism all week.
Houston Rockets F Royce White: An intimidating frontline presence who boasts a soft-touch passing ability rarely seen for a player of his size, White averaged 8.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists on a Rockets squad that was the most entertaining to watch all week. A potential match-up nightmare thanks to his strange combination of bulk, vision and versatility, he should see real court time this season.
Washington Wizards G Bradley Beal: For a one-and-done player, Beal impressed with his maturity, consistency and steadiness. Perhaps he could have exerted more influence over Washington’s games but he played within himself and scored in a variety of ways, notching double figures in all five of Washington’s games. The Florida guard has NBA size, handle, quickness and showed some range too. He has the chance to be a special player if the consistency of his jump shot continues to develop.