Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Basketball Never Stops for Premier Hoops by Jasen Sousa


Basketball Never Stops

 

NBA Summer League

The 2013-2014 NBA Season recently ended and the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.   Basketball is supposed to be done for the summer, right?  Wrong.

Personally, I greatly enjoy watching NBA Summer League.  The Orlando Summer League just concluded with the Philadelphia 76ers defeating the Memphis Grizzlies in the final.  The second edition of the NBA Summer League is currently underway in Las Vegas.

Not too many people travel to Las Vegas for basketball, but I have in the past and really enjoyed the intimate atmosphere where players, coaches, and executives can be sitting directly next to you.  NBA Summer League is like one giant audition for players, coaches, and officials.  Where else can you see Mark Cuban getting interviewed about Shark Tank on one end of the court, while on the other end, Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher (who is trying to impress as a coach) talk about what philosophical book they are going to make their players read this season?

Yes, the games can be sloppy at times as players are plucked from all over the world and placed on a team.  It shows the less glamorous side of professional athletes and the personal and professional sacrifices which have to be made in order to live out a dream. 

The games might not count as much when it comes to historical documentation, but don't tell that to the journeymen have played basketball all around the world trying to make it onto an NBA roster.  Don't  tell that to the draft picks who are hoping to cement minutes within their new team's rotation, and don't tell that to the NBA veterans who are trying to make it back onto a roster.  Particularly Brian Cook, who was on Orlando's Summer League roster.  Brian Cook has been out of the NBA for two years to help take care of his wife as she battled cancer. 

To read a very interesting article about Brian Cook and his journey, please click on the link below:


Summer League is also a way to discover players who are likely to have break-out seasons, and players who you will come to follow and support throughout the season because you admire and relate to their stories.  Trying to get an upper-hand in your fantasy basketball league?  Then you would know that Tim Hardaway Jr. of the New York Knicks, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Detroit Pistons, James Ennis of the Miami Heat, and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks ("The Greek Freak") are players who should be on your radar. 

The NBA Summer League is in full swing right now in Las Vegas, so make sure you check it out on NBA TV, through the NBA Summer League App, or by convincing your parents to take you on vacation to Las Vegas.    

WNBA

The WNBA, which is considered to be the most successful women's professional sports league in history,  is currently in its 18th season.  Rookie Shoni Schimmel has this year's top selling jersey and Skylar Diggins comes in second on the list. 

If you haven't been watching WNBA games lately, check out Brittney Griner's recent dunk!



 

The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup

Football isn't the only sport having a big tournament this summer.  Though it's nowhere near as popular at the moment, The World Cup of Basketball is taking place in Spain from August 30th to September 14th.  Make sure to check it out and try and notice the different international rules!

 

Oh, and if you haven't heard, this year's NBA Free Agency has been crazy as some guy named LeBron James switched teams. 

 

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

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