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NBA Summer League another scorching showcase of skill

When it comes to this scorcher of a season, the stars of NBA Summer League stay shining like the sun in the early evening.

Nba summer league another scorching showcase of skill
Nba summer league another scorching showcase of skill

After the post-season, they say the second season in the NBA begins with the draft and the free agency frenzy that is the off-season. Although soon the new NBA Cup will claim its throne and that title.

In actuality, the real second season in the NBA is the sensational 2K Summer League which is a video game dream for young talent. Further proof, alongside the WNBA campaign and the forthcoming FIBA World Cup, that basketball never stops. Spinning like Wilson, even when you’re cast away from the NBA.

This summer we have been introduced to the Wembanyama era, seen the return of Chet Holmgren and a hot-front of Canadians ready to leave their mark like grooves on a basketball.

L.J. Figueroa, with a last name like he was born to play on the Lakers streets, also caught a classic dunk for a lay-up line of landmark ones in the tournament.

Las Vegas just hosted the WNBA All-star game and record-breaking weekend. Yet Thomas & Mack held centre court for the best games since UNLV brought the brass of compelling college hoops.

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A sell out in the first three days, 140,000 fans came to this eleven-day event, and not just to see the two games Wemby weaved his way through. Houston Rocket young flyer Cam Whitmore propelled himself to Summer League MVP, but it wasn’t enough for his Texan team to take the title.

Those honours went to the youth in revolt that continues to be the Cleveland Cavaliers. Who needs a King when you have all these young princes’? Crowing themselves as champions with a resolute 99-78 stomp against H-town, it’s all summer champagne, wine and gold now.

Finals MVP Isaiah Mobley had 28 points, eleven rebounds and three assists from the field. The older brother of Cavs center Evan Mobley showed out and proved he was more than his 2022, 49th pick selection. Just like Most Valuable Player, Whitmore did to those who passed him up as he fell to the 20th spot in this year’s draft.

Add teammates Sam Merill and Emoni Bates (also a 49th pick), to the first and second Summer League teams respectively, and the sword is sharpened for a Cleveland collective you should fear like the deer. Last year, they had one of the best records in the L. This one, they’ll contend throughout the knockout stages.

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Like Dipset, there’s more to the Rockets than Cam too. Fellow rook Amen Thompson answers their prayers and Jabari Smith Jr. is looking for a sophomore surge for a franchise that no longer wants to slump on spent fuel.

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Elsewhere, reigning Eastern Conference champions and NBA finalists the Miami Heat may have lost undrafted gem Gabe Vincent to free agency, but they may have just found another in Orlando Robinson. His averages of 25.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals more than passed the bar.

A certain seven-foot, four-inch Frenchman wasn’t the only big talent to shine in just two games. Chet Holmgrem also shut up critics with his body of work. The skinny on this well conditioned frame points to averages of 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and no bust for a sophomore who missed his entire rookie campaign due to injury. Expect a thunderous return in Oklahoma.

With 27 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and one steal, Victor Wembanyama showed Spurs fans and the watching world what we can expect from the most anticipated rookie season since King James’ version. Like a great eye test, this was just a preview of the spectacle to come. The Frenchman’s revolution is about to get real.

Amen’s twin, Ausar Thompson, was the Piston that kept going for Detroit. The fifth pick in the draft hit top gear. A strong rebounding and defensive presence was joined by 13.5 points, 3.5 assists and 2.3 steals per contest. Keeping the music in Motown, Marcus Sasser’s 40 points without a single turnover sang volumes also.

Hardwood highlights came complete with the Orlando Magic’s sixth pick sense of Anthony Black, the Lakers sophomore star Max Christie and the Jazz’s Keyonte George unlocking a 33 point, 10 assist game.

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The whistle of this taste test signals great things to come. Once G-League favourite Scoot Henderson ignites the league with Wemby, the next generation will graduate to become leaders of the new school.

Now, how’s that for summer loving?

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