LAS VEGAS—Vegas is the place of dreams: our minds fantasize with one pull of the slot machines hitting the jackpot, or driving down the strip being enveloped by a mini-tour of the world; from the pyramids of Egypt to the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Thomas & Mack Center.
Another popular attraction in the scorching desert is the Samsung NBA Summer League, which was held from July 10-20. The tournament was a make-or-break audition for young men trying to fulfill their lifelong dream of becoming professional basketball players.
The Golden State Warriors produced a team that went to the quarterfinals of the tournament; however, they were defeated by the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night, ending their quest for a dual NBA/Summer League championship.
Players for the warriors who improved their chances of making the team were Kevon Looney, the number 30 pick overall in the NBA draft out of UCLA, also forward James Michael McAdoo out of North Carolina who led the team in scoring at 16.4 PPG.
The NBA journey begins for Julian Washburn; an undrafted player from UTEP who, in spite of being named defensive player of the year in Conference USA, is still battling for a spot with the Warriors.
He said of his chances, “I love to learn on the fly and concentrate on what I need to do, rebounding and playing defense.” The likable young man was chatting with us courtside enjoying the Knicks vs. Lakers game while signing autographs and chatting with fans. This is one player we are all rooting for.
In conclusion, the San Antonio Spurs beat the Phoenix Suns to claim the Summer League Championship. Past players were revealed on a beautiful new mural, which included superstar and current MVP and NBA Champion Steph Curry. Other Warriors included Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, who joked, “they should retire my summer league jersey,” only in half jest. A fitting end to a intense time for the players, yet pure summer fun for the fans.