NBA Summer League Returning to Las Vegas

by April 11, 2012

The lockout led to the cancellation of the NBA Summer League, to the dismay of many. But it’s back, baby. From the Las Vegas Journal: ” … with a new collective bargaining agreement in place, the NBA will be back at Cox Pavilion and the Thomas & Mack Center from July 13 through July 22, with 23 teams expected to participate. ‘We’re excited to be back,’ said Warren LeGarie, the San Francisco-based agent who partners with the NBA to run the summer league. ‘Sometimes you take things for granted, and not having the summer league last year was tough for us and the fans. We really missed it.’ The NBA on Monday was finalizing teams and ticket prices. But LeGarie said both Los Angeles teams — the Lakers and the Clippers — have committed to Las Vegas, and as was the case the previous two summer leagues, a team of select players from the NBA Development League will compete. ‘We might have room for one more team,’ LeGarie said. ‘We don’t want the product to suffer.’ The Vegas Summer League, which LeGarie began in 2004 with six teams, has become an important event on the league calendar. The owners schedule their summer meetings at the Palms in conjunction with the league, and Las Vegas is a place where general managers, coaches and scouts enjoy gathering to evaluate the talent on display. Even the teams that aren’t participating usually have someone on hand. […] The biggest change is the date. In previous years, play began right after the July 4 holiday. But this year the summer league pushed back its start by a week because of the NBA’s condensed season and the need to give drafted players time to assimilate with their new teams, along with the fact that USA Basketball will be practicing at the adjacent Mendenhall Center during the earlier dates. ‘We’re happy with the new start date,’ LeGarie said. ‘We think it fits in well with everything else that’s going on basketball-wise in Las Vegas. The truth is, some of the general managers were concerned that the players who got drafted needed a chance to catch their breath and get acclimated with the coaches and the system, and get themselves in better shape before the league started.'”