Despite the 111-degree temperatures (in the shade), ball-hogging guards and utter lack of help defense, there is something uniquely compelling about the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
It was the hope of rookies, the hustle of guys trying to impress scouts, a chance to fall in love with the guys who will be at the end of the bench come the regular season, an intimate atmosphere, guys proving they deserved to get paid to play (in the USA or Europe), and it is like an NBA convention. Everyone is there.
Well, not this summer. Damn lockout.
Because of the NBA shutting down business come July 1 the league has scrapped plans for Summer League, the New York Daily News reports what everyone suspected. The league itself denied that this decision has been made, but you can bet if it’s not official yet it will be soon.
(As we’ve said, there is going to be a lockout this summer, the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement would need to be in place by now to avoid it and the two sides are barely talking.)
Another sign of the impending lockout — no teams are traveling to Europe or anywhere outside the United States for preseason games next year. That has been a standard burden on some teams for years and years in an effort to broaden the NBA’s appeal.
Get a comfortable chair and have a seat, this lockout is going to be long and ugly.