My Summer League Experience
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GoldenThroat
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:15 am    Post subject: My Summer League Experience

I'd encourage every basketball nerd to do this at least once. It's almost like the basketball version of Comic Con, where players, scouts, GMs, writers, etc. descend on one place for a few days. Here is my hodgepodge of experiences. You saw the on court stuff, so I'll leave that out.

Laker Related

-Laker Nation was out in full force. The vibe for the first game was absolutely wild, with people standing during the entirety of warmups. Felt more like a playoff game than a SL game. Laker fans turned up in droves for these games.

-Robert Upshaw was great with the fans. Prior to one of the games, he went over and grabbed a Laker fan's sign + marker, and took the sign around to all of the other Lakers who were there in the tunnel, got their autographs, and gave it back. I saw him walking through the concourse alone after the Philly game, and congratulated him on the contract (thought he had actually signed it) and he laughed and said "thank you." He then started to get swarmed by Laker fans, and gave everyone the time of day. He'll learn really quickly that you don't use the same routes out of the building that the fans do when you're a Laker if you want to get anywhere quickly.

-Unfortunately, Julius Randle was the opposite end of the spectrum, wanting nothing to do with the fans. I didn't have any interactions with him personally, but he didn't give anyone the time of day on a few different occasions, and was generally rude about it. I don't have any belief that athletes owe fans their attention, I just thought he was kind of a dick about it, in ways that other guys weren't. Between that and his demeanor on the court/bench (barking at teammates, sulking), I'm less of a Julius Randle fan than I was before the Summer League.

-The young guys seem to get along very well. They'd usually come out with their backpacks and headphones on in the 3rd quarter of the game before them. You could see them joking around, and generally enjoying each other's company. Russell & Clarkson seemed to get along especially well.

-Russell is taller than I thought he'd be. His height & length are legit.

-Prior to the Minnesota game, George Karl, Vlade Divac, Mitch Kupchak, & Jim Buss had a friendly conversation at mid court. A small group of Laker fans started a "Boogie! Boogie! Boogie!" chant nearby.

-Speaking of Jim Buss, he was also very gracious with fans, not only signing things, but talking to them and was just generally being friendly.

-Met up with a couple of LGs for the Philly game, which was great. They got to hear me babble only somewhat coherently about our offense for 2 hours.

Non-Laker Related

-As you might imagine, the level of fandom at the Summer League is on a different level than a regular game. One of my favorite parts of the experience was talking with fans of other teams, many of whom were very interested in my opinion of Russell over Okafor. There were real diehard fans everywhere, which was great. It's also a unique experience to be watching a game where there are fans of a good dozen different teams in the stands.

-There are two gyms there, and they're in the same building. One is the Thomas & Mack Center, which the Lakers played in every time, and then there's the Cox Pavilion, which is a tiny gym next to it. (which couldn't fit all of the Laker fans, so that's why they play at T&M) Those were my favorite non-Laker related games. Seeing NBA caliber talent in what basically amounted to a High School gym was pretty cool.

-I sat near scouts on a couple of different occasions, although I don't think they were working. They had their scout/front office passes, but didn't have anything to take notes. They were hilarious. One was a scout for the Milwaukee Bucks, who was roasting Michael Eric (SL Center for them), cracking up everyone around us, and then there were 3 Raptors scouts who absolutely HATED Adreian Payne, and were talking tons of (bleep) about him during the Laker/Minnesota game.

-Basketball people are EVERYWHERE. Everywhere you look, it's like "hey, there's Vlade! Look, Greg Foster is in front of me in the hot dog line. Hey, Greg Monroe's here! That's Jason Kidd over there, trying to be all incognito." The way that the building is set up means that there's a lot of interaction between fans & FO people and even players.

-I got to boo Mark Cuban to his face, which was awesome. He got a chuckle out of it. He seemed like a very cool dude. Lots of people (players especially) went out of their way to say what's up to him.

-Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was probably the most affable player I saw last week. He does a little shimmy at the free throw line, which was cracking our section up. After the game, he walked by and I said, "Shimmy, Rondae!" and he looked back at us and shimmied. He had a Lamar Odom-type of personality and his teammates seemed to love him.

-I got to eavesdrop on a conversation between Pete D'Alessandro and a Sacramento scout. D'Alessandro was the guy in charge in Sacramento before the cluster (bleep) started to happen, and he's in Denver now. He was talking about how he'll always have a place in his heart for Sacramento, but it was time to go. Nothing we didn't already know, but it was interesting to hear it from the horse's mouth.

-Mudiay is the most physically mature teenager I've ever seen. Holy (bleep) is he filled out. Kelly Oubre, on the other hand, looked less physically developed than the other guys his age. Probably bodes well for his future.



Anyway, I'll post more if I think of it. It was great seeing 6+ hours of basketball per day for 4 straight days. Looking forward to doing it again.
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The Logo
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:19 am    Post subject:

Very interesting observations. As for Randle, he seems like a really private dude. Doesn't really do too well with the media. Pretty moody also. Payne also pissed me off in the Minnesota game

Last edited by The Logo on Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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GoldenThroat
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:22 am    Post subject:

The Logo wrote:
Very interesting observations. As for Randle, he seems like a really private dude. Doesn't really do too well with the media. Pretty moody also


He's a real ray of sunshine.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:23 am    Post subject:

Thanks GT! Always great to hear about stuff like this in detail. Did the Bucks / Raptors scouts say anything about our players?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:23 am    Post subject:

GoldenThroat wrote:
The Logo wrote:
Very interesting observations. As for Randle, he seems like a really private dude. Doesn't really do too well with the media. Pretty moody also


He's a real ray of sunshine.

Probably just upset that he was on a minutes restriction. Probably felt like he was fine physically and mentally to play without being brought up slowly.
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GoldenThroat
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:24 am    Post subject:

fiendishoc wrote:
Thanks GT! Always great to hear about stuff like this in detail. Did the Bucks / Raptors scouts say anything about our players?


Not that I heard. I could tell that they liked Towns, but they spent most of their time talking crap about Payne. Didn't hear any Laker-related observations. The Milwaukee scout was at a Milwaukee/Pelicans game, so there was no reason to bring anything up about the Lakers.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:33 am    Post subject:

Randle's play on the court during SL seemed selfish and his interviews seem to show a big ego. It's interesting to hear that his demeanor toward fans was similar.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:38 am    Post subject:

Thanks for sharing. Glad you had a great time. I hope to attend the summer league sometime in the future.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:39 am    Post subject:

Very cool, thanks for sharing. I need to get back to summer league now that I understand basketball-- I went to LB as a kid.

Bummed to hear that about Randle. Hopefully that's not his general disposition. I really hate when people actively make other people's days worse, when simple kindness could go so far to make it better instead.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:41 am    Post subject:

Thanks GT - inspired. Ashamed that I lived in Vegas for two years recently and never went. (I was pretty busy at the time)

I know it took time to share this and I really appreciate it.

BTW - on Randle - double doubles and he can scowl all he wants.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:47 am    Post subject:

Disappointing to hear about randle but there certainly have been minor things he's portrayed, that as fans we overlook as passion.


Let's hope its only a young mans frustration
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:51 am    Post subject:

Thanks GT.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:06 am    Post subject:

SaintStephen wrote:
Very cool, thanks for sharing. I need to get back to summer league now that I understand basketball-- I went to LB as a kid.

Bummed to hear that about Randle. Hopefully that's not his general disposition. I really hate when people actively make other people's days worse, when simple kindness could go so far to make it better instead.


Yeah a bit disappointing to hear- but the Lakers had a certain 7'3 center who was the king of surliness, and it worked out pretty well for us fans.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:11 am    Post subject:

thanks GT.

also a little bummed and alarmed to hear about Randle...hopefully it's not how he actually is and he was just having a bad few days.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:13 am    Post subject:

Very interesting, GT. Thanks for sharing it.

I'm also a little bit disappointed with Randle. I hope that he was just a little pissed and nervous about the minutes limitation and not playing basketball for almost a year.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:29 am    Post subject:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:44 am    Post subject:

FO folks and Lakers players stalking LG thread I wonder if they are looking for you GT. My lips are sealed.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:49 am    Post subject:

32 wrote:
Thanks GT.
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dont_be_a_wuss
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:54 am    Post subject:

jjangx27 wrote:
thanks GT.

also a little bummed and alarmed to hear about Randle...hopefully it's not how he actually is and he was just having a bad few days.


I don't blame him or mind. With TMZ bugging you outside of every restaurant you go and never being able to have a private moment to yourself outside your house, some people reach a breaking point where they just give up on participating in the charade.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:09 am    Post subject:

Randle was more affable last year during Summer League. I think he is following Kobe's model of being serious about his game and expecting excellence. Julius has seemed to take on the Kobe persona more than anyone and he still brings up Kobe's name in many of his interviews. He will lighten up when he starts to have sustained success..
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:10 am    Post subject:

Thanks GT.


It seems like Jim Buss tries to stay away from the media but has no problem talking to fans and others when he's in public.... I always thought he was a private guy.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:11 am    Post subject:



love it

If I ever go back to the states I'm definitely going to the summer league
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:16 am    Post subject:

I think a lot of his bad attitude this year is probably because he hasn't been playing basketball and has basically missed a year of his career. He wasn't satisfied with his minutes in summer league as well..
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:28 am    Post subject:

Laker_Town wrote:
Disappointing to hear about randle but there certainly have been minor things he's portrayed, that as fans we overlook as passion.


Let's hope its only a young mans frustration


Who really cares, the only thing he owes us is effort on the floor and improving his game. If he is a private person you have no right asking him to be something else.

I would add a couple things to GT's observations.

One, Jordan Clarkson is much faster in person than he looks on TV and two, the 4 shots for $10 at the Hard Rock are great.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:36 am    Post subject:

Randle already following in (his idol) young Kobe's footsteps?!?!

Thanks for the write up. Interesting stuff.
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