Tag: Impact Basketball

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Video: Watch J.J. Hickson throw it down at Impact series

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In what has largely been an entertaining pickup game at the Impact Compeititve Basketball Series in Las Vegas, just about nobody has been more entertaining than J.J. Hickson.

The guy plays above the rim. Kings fans drool thinking about him on the wings of the break with Tyreke Evans running the show and DeMarcus Cousins as the trailer. (Hopefully they get to see that sooner rather than later.)

Here’s an example of Hickson making a poster Tuesday night. Hat tip to SLAM for the video find.

Here’s your roster of guys playing in Vegas Impact Series

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We’ve been telling you about the Impact Competitive Training Series — don’t you dare call it a league — which kicks off next week. And if you’re in Vegas, you can attend it.

Impact Basketball, the training facility putting on the event, released to official list of participants. They will form teams, trying to keep players paired with guys on their same NBA team. We pass that along to you below with this note — expect a few guys to drop in and other guys to drop out. That’s the way these things roll.

Here’s the list:

Chauncey Billups, Al Harrington, Kyle Lowry. Dahntay Jones, James Anderson, Marresse Speights, Melvin Ely, Jermaine O’Neal, Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson, Austin Daye, JJ Hickson, John Wall, Zach Randolph Wesley Matthews, Shelvin Mack, Stephen Jackson, Iman Shumpert, Derek Caracter, Shawne Williams, Jimmy Butler, Mo Williams, Roger Mason, Travis Leslie, Josh Selby, Sebastian Telfair, CJ Watson, Armon Johnson, Avery Bradley, Jared Jeffries, Demar Derozen, Jamaal Tinsley, Jordan Williams, Malcolm Lee, Ekpe Udoh, Bonzi Wells, Al farouq Aminu, Xavier Silas, Desmond Farmer, Corey Stokes, Larry Owens, Hakim Warrick, Courtney Lee, Morris Peterson, Channing Frye, Damon Jones, Terrico White, Steph Curry, Ryan Hollins, TJ Ford, Manny Harris, Rashard Lewis, Isaiah Thomas, Larry Hughes, Jordan Hamilton, Willie Warren, Dorell Wright, Paul George, Corey Maggette, Brandon Rush, Jordan Crawford, Nick Young, Kenyon Martin, Josh Harrelson, Dominque Jones, Martell Webster, Jared Bayless, Tony Allen, Kawhi Leonard, and Jeremy Evans.

Talking Vegas Impact Series with Jared Dudley (and why you should watch)

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The days right after Labor Day is when the great migration of NBA players usually takes place. Like geese heading south for the winter, they board planes and fly to the city where they will get paid to ball — weeks before training camp opens — to start working out and playing pickup with their teammates at team facilities.

Not this year. Players are locked out of team facilities. They can’t even talk to coaches and trainers.

So a number of them — upwards of 50 with others expected to drop in — are headed to Vegas for the Impact Competitive Training Series. This new series is two weeks of organized workouts and pickup games that will be open to the public (and streamed online). The games start next Monday (Sept. 12). Everybody involved has (or recently had) an NBA contract. Big names such as Zach Randolph, Chauncey Billups and John Wall will be there, among many others.

The Suns Jared Dudley said this is the chance for teammates to start building that chemistry that would normally be growing on team facilities right now.

“Like myself, guys are trying to get a couple of their teammates to come out there so they can play with them,” Dudley told ProBasketballTalk. “So myself, I called Channing (Frye), Hakim (Warrick) is coming out, Aaron Brooks is going to be coming out.

“A lot of guys are bringing a couple of their guys in, so then in the morning you’ll train, you’ll work out, then go home and rest. Then at night you come back and play in games that will be open to the public, but you’ll be playing with guys you’ll be playing with in the season. So it helps their chemistry, something you would have potentially lost. It’s not going to make a huge factor, but it’s a factor.”

Fans love watching these types of games — whether it be the official (but cancelled this year) NBA Summer League or pro-ams like the Goodman League — but these games also get knocked for the lack of defense.

Dudley counters that guys will be focused defensively, and while you may not see mid-season defensive rotations, you will see effort.

“It’s just competitive because nobody wants to go out there and get fried, nobody wants to get embarrassed, so people are going to go out there and play defense. People are going to go out there and try to score…” Dudley said. “If Tayshaun Prince is out there killing me, and the game is going to be live and streaming, if SLAM Magazine and NBC Sports can write about it, I’m going to be finding a way to stop him.”

The names of those participating is supposed to come out Thursday, but guys that are in include Wall, Billups, Rudy Gay, Stephen Curry, Stephen Jackson, DeMar DeRozan, Al Harrington, Jermaine O’Neal, DeAndre Jordan, Chase Budinger, Omri Casspi and Eric Maynor, just to name a few.

For fans jonesing for some hoops, this might be the best thing they can get for a while. If it goes well and the lockout drags on, there could be another session in October.

The gym at Impact only holds about 700 fans, so it’s going to be intimate. Games will take place at 3, 5 and 7p.m. daily. Dudley said it’s going to be interesting.

“It’s interesting to see because nobody has done anything like this” Dudley said. “They didn’t have a Vegas Summer League so it kind of makes up for that. It’s a mix of big names to up and coming names.”

For more details, check back to PBT in the coming days or log on after Thursday to the Impact Basketball website.

Two-week NBA pro league plans September run in Vegas

summer league

The NBA players are learning that the marketing machine that is the NBA is not so easy to replace.

While there has been Grassroots buzz about all the pro-am events this summer, that has not seeped into the national sports consciousness. Not in a meaningful way. (There are people criticizing the lack of marketing around the Goodman vs. Drew showdown last weekend, and there could have been a bigger profile, but that sort of misses the point of the Goodman League. That should have been a grassroots event for the people, and it was.)

Now Impact Basketball — one of the biggest off-season workout and training facilities in the nation — is trying to organize a two-week run in Las Vegas for pros, reports Alex Kennedy at Hoopsworld.

Joe Abunassar, the founder and head trainer of Impact Basketball, confirmed that the league will kick off in mid-September, likely during the week following Labor Day. Two games will be played each day and the league is expected to last at least two weeks long. There is a possibility that the games will be streamed online.

“It will start in September, with two games a day,” Jared Dudley told HOOPSWORLD. “There will be a blend of all-stars, veterans and rookies. We’ll play by NBA rules – have a 24-second shot clock and everything. You heard of the Drew League and Goodman League, but the difference with this league is that it’s not a pro-am. There will just be NBA pros. It really gets guys ready for the NBA season. I’m excited every summer because at Impact, you only can get better. Now, the games are there to put what you learn into action on the court.”

No doubt Impact has the player connections — John Wall, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Monta Ellis, Tyreke Evans and a ton of other NBA players have worked out at Impact.

But can Impact get those players to come to Vegas and play for a couple weeks? The bigger question for players trying to gain leverage in negotiations with owners — if we are just hearing about this a couple weeks before it starts (and without a lot of details), can you get people to attend? Can you really market it? Would it even match the buzz of NBA Summer League? If the games “may” be streamed online I have doubts about that end of it.

And if they start this Vegas run right as the NFL and college football start up, will anyone notice or care?