Anybody who is a fan of basketball is obviously not happy that the NBA is locked out right now. So far though, the only things we've missed out on as fans are free agency and the Summer League.
From a Wizards fan perspective and speaking on behalf of my colleagues at Wizards Extreme, the latter is much more of a let down than the former, if only because me and the New King of Social Media, Asad Naqvi would have been in Vegas to witness Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack doing their thing while wearing the new Wizards colors.
Luckily enough though, this new breed of young talent, mixed in with some old vets and even retired players love to play basketball and they don't care if it's outdoors or indoors, they just want to ball. The saying typically is one man's trash is another man's treasure. In this case, the NBA may not want their players to use their facilites but Summer Leagues like the Goodman League and the Drew League are taking advantage of the lockout and are hosting a slew of current and former NBA'ers.
We are roughly 13 days into this lockout but already in DC alone we have seen the likes of Kevin Durant, John Wall, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, DeMarcus Cousins, and Shelvin Mack just to name a few. These players have attended indoor sessions (Goodman Coalition) and outdoor sessions (Barry Farms, Goodman League). We have even seen the likes of ex-players such as Chris Whitney, Lawrence Moten, and Sam Cassell.
Last night Wizards fans in North Carolina had a chance to see John Wall put on a dribble and drive show at the Greater NC Pro Am aka "The Rucker of the South". Wall dazzled the crowd with his speed, passing and finishing at the rim for Team Triangle Gastroenterology (no thats not a joke). Coached by former Wizard Jerry Stackhouse, the team also featured John Henson (UNC), and top returning player for the Tar Heels, Harrison Barnes.
Wall will be in Los Angeles tonight for the ESPY's of which if you haven't seen the commercial yet, here you go:
For highlights of Wall's Goodman League Coalition debut and his promise to play at Barry Farms / Inside the Gates click below:
For a recap from Wall's NC Pro Am performance here are a couple more videos from Hoopmixtape Blog, Comcast SportsNet, :
Moral to the story: Don't worry about the lockout.....yet. There is a whole summer worth of basketball in leagues all across the US. Those might just be your best chances to not only catch a game for free but to get those autographs that are just too damn hard to get at an NBA game.
Stay tuned to Wizards Extreme for more on your favorite players participating in leagues throughout the summer.