LAS VEGAS—Right now the epicenter of basketball is not at Rucker Park or Venice Beach, its in Las Vegas. The wildly popular NBA2K24 Summer League is back at Thomas and Mack Center through July 17.

All of the excitement and hype is centered around Victor Wembanyama. Drafted by the San Antonio Spurs at No. 1, the 7 foot and 5 inch tall Frenchman is primed to be the next NBA superstar. Last night, he scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against the Portland Trailblazers.

The international star is 19, and Vegas has a case of Wembanyama Mania. As the number #1 overall pick the expectations are through the roof.

“It’s just me getting comfortable with myself, comfortable with my body, the court,” Wembanyama said. “Before today, I had like two practices and one game, so I was just getting going.”

After reaching the Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers drafted Jalen Hood-Schifino at No. 17. Hood-Schifino averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 32 games in his lone season at Indiana University.

It has been a tremendous off-season for the purple and gold. The Lakers retained starting point guard D’Angelo Russell to a two-year, $37 million contract and Rui Hachimura to a three-year $51 million deal. Austin Reaves’ three-year, $56 million contract by far topped the Lakers’ moves this offseason.

In addition, the Lakers signed Gabe Vincent and Cam Reddish adding depth to the roster.

The fun in Vegas continues with the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament. The NBA unveiled details of the NBA In-Season Tournament, a new annual competition for all 30 teams that will debut in the 2023-24 regular season.

The inaugural In-Season Tournament will tip off on Friday, November 3 in NBA team markets and will culminate with the playing of the Semifinals (Thursday, December 7) and Championship (Saturday, December 9) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The In-Season Tournament will consist of two stages: Group Play and the Knockout Rounds. This early season tournament should get the NBA season off to a roaring start.