Hotter than July and in a league of its own, the Summer has been loving the NBA this season.
There’s no offseason about any of this. Between the post playoff second season of draft and free agency trade the game just keeps going. And the recent game changing contest of the NBA Summer league has seen all the lottery picks and raw, young talents of the past few seasons of change look for a ticket to win.
And they told you basketball never stops!
Starting this season early, the NBA hit Las Vegas, Nevada like NCAA in the UNLV as each team looked to place their chips on the kids they one day hope and scout project to be future All-Stars. Betting on some of the potential biggest names in the sports world in Sin City, numbers where ringing from the courts to the casinos.
All eyes where on this years lottery picks rolling the dice as number one pick Karl-Anthony Townes of the Minnesota Timberwolves proved he was worthy of that top billing position, alongside fellow top ten player with experience in China, Emmanuel Mudiay, who is a real Nugget find for Denver. A lot of hype also surrounded the match-up between the Los Angeles Lakers number 2 pick D’Angelo Russell and the Philadelphia 76er they snubbed to get him, Jahil Okafor. Okafor got revenge blocking Russell, but D’Angelo’s team won thanks to star sophomores with so much more Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. Still, even with all this, Okafor’s woeful free throw shooting and Russell’s troubled turnovers remains more than just a casual concern.
At least the Knicks Kristaps Porzingis turned all those jeers into cheers as this once empty core Big Apple, New York team now has something and someone to centre them.
It wasn’t just all about the rooks however in this young mans game and tournament which drawing in a crowd-seated and televised-looked more like a proper NBA game and not just another run. There-point gunner Doug McDermott showed he gives the Chicago Bulls roster of Rose, Noah, Gasol, Butler, Mirotic, Dunleavy and Brooks even more range from downtown, fabulous Las Vegas. Whilst MVP and champion Steph Curry’s brother and former Golden State Warrior teammate Seth showed he had what it takes now a team finally gave Dell’s other son the chance. After representing the New Orleans Pelicans with his family name and game play this Curry showed how hot he is. Now he’s been crowned with a Kings role in Sacramento. Seth Curry with the contract.
Still like with everything else this Summer it wasn’t this year, but last years champion the San Antonio Spurs that dominated the proceedings. One of the most legendary franchises of the NBA’s storied history with a legacy made big-three of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and the greatest Power Forward of all-time Tim Duncan, about to be replaced with the Finals MVP and Defensive Player Of The Year likes of Kawhi Leonard and biggest free agent signing LaMarcus Aldridge, showed they had even more in their youthful future. As the MVP of this Summer league tournament Kyle Anderson showed he may just be the last piece of this new San Antonio team set to replace the old but not obsolete present one. Or is he? As the Spurs may have just found a new coach to take these new torch carriers to the light at the end of the pasts tunnel. Franchise family member and former WNBA, San Antonio Silver Stars All-Star Becky Hammon has graduated from first female Assistant Coach to that of a Summer league head one. Leading her team to a 93-90 Finals win over the Phoenix Suns to win the tournament and rumours of one day being the very first woman to coach an NBA team once Coah Pop calls it a champagne toast of a career. Adam Silver has said one day he could see something like this happens and Hammon has already held her first piece of hardware as a rookie coach, just games into her top of the top tenure.
Take that Steve Kerr!
Now with so much future potential on display in just a few competitive games this month, the collective National Basketball Association just wishes they could know what everyone’s going to do next Summer! Because if its like this one by any or all accounts, its going to be a scorcher!