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Is Vegas the best place for young NBA players?

July 12, 2009

After arriving back in the OC, I felt like I would give some of my takes on the 2009 NBA Summer league.

1)  Is Las Vegas really the place to have 19-22 year old young men, some of whom have real money in their pocket for the first time, participate in the first event of their pro career?  Probably not.  Unless of course the FBI and the powers that be in the association are using it as a testing ground to monitor the merits of their rookie symposium where players are encouraged to avoid the trials of bookmakers, predatory women, and sleazy businessmen.  If they are indeed under constant supervision, this would be a great field test for these players.  You couldn’t create a better simulation of strung out gamblers, scantily-clad gold-diggers, and dozens of other people looking to make a buck off anyone who has one (not to mention the millions that some of these kids have).

2) I’ve said it for almost two years and nothing in the two games that I saw on Friday and Saturday did anything to make me change my mind: “Stephen Curry WILL be a STAR in this league.”  I don’t usually agree with Dick Vitale but his statement that teams that picked 2-6 will be regretting the day that they passed on him was right on the money.  The day he was drafted he became, at the very worst, the 3rd best shooter in the league (Jason Kapono and maybe Ray Allen would be the only other shooters in his class).  He is a bit undersized, but he is still 6 foot 3, not exactly Mugsy Bogues or Spud Webb.  However he is ultra quick, handles and passes above average, and his moves to the hole make you wonder how Rick Bucher of ESPN said his main weakness was his limited athleticism.  Vegas should have him as the odds on favorite for ROY.

3) Would the real Adam Morrison please stand up.  Having watched every Laker game this year I wondered who the lucky fan was that won the right to sit on the bench during Laker games, wear their uniform, and participate in warm-ups.  Turns out it was Adam Morrison.  Yes, the same Naismith award finalist whose out-of-his-mind college scoring drew comparisons to Larry Bird and made him the number 3 pick in the draft by the Bobcats was riding the pine, trying to rebuild his game following major knee surgery.  On the first two days of the summer league, it was a rebirth of the potential superstar that the Lakers acquired in order to unload the contract of one Vladimir Radmonovic.  Morrison has clearly learned the triangle and his impressive play should trigger a move by the Lakers.   Either they trade Morrison, or (my preference), they agree that Morrison is their back-up 3 and deal away (please) Luke Walton.

4) Remember this name, David Monds.  He is a 2nd year pro out of Oklahoma State who spent most of last season as a D-Leaguer.  He is playing for the Lakers in the summer league and his post-up game and mid range jumper, along with monster size, should put him on the radars of several NBA teams (he won’t end up with the salary cap strapped defending champs).  Saw Geoff Petrie and Paul Westphal there and was wondering if they had made some calls to draw up a contract for the Kings whose “future” big men Jason Thompson and Dante Green blended in more with the undrafted rookies and journeymen talent than they did with some of the actual NBA talent that was there.

5) Austin Daye is very good.

6) The NBA summer league is the best value of any sporting event I’ve ever attended.  $25 gets you a full-day admission and great seats to four games.  The general admission seating means that if you are there early you can nearly sit court side.  The players are fun to watch, great with the fans, right up-close, and seem to be excited to put on a show.  You will run into (and I mean physically run into) many NBA coaches, execs, and players.  Mark Cuban, Don Nelson, Rick Carlyle, and Kevin Martin were just a few of the big names who sat or stood inches from fans.  If you can get there, you need to.  Definitely a place where NBA action is FAN-tastic.

That’s my take on the summer league.  Feel free to email me with any feedback or check out my facebook page.  Until next time, this is Aday on Sports

3 Comments leave one →
  1. misteraday permalink*
    July 12, 2009 11:01 pm

    This is the 1st real blog. Look for a new one every few days as stories break or my mind wraps around something. Come back often, I’ll leave the light in for you.

  2. Lee permalink
    July 16, 2009 12:08 pm

    I’m pretty sure that the summer league should be back in Long Beach where it belongs. Quite a few less casinos.

  3. July 17, 2009 7:51 pm

    dude, you nailed it. you the man. i love this site. it’s hype and fresh and all the way live!

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