Who won the NBA summer league?
2021 NBA Summer League: Sacramento Kings crowned Summer League champions after defeating Boston Celtics. The Sacramento Kings become the first team in NBA history to win multiple Summer League championships after a comfortable 100-67 win over the Boston Celtics in the championship game. NBA CA2021 NBA Summer League: Sacramento Kings crowned Summer League champions after defeating Boston Celtics
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19 August, 2021 - 09:20pm
19 August, 2021 - 09:20pm
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — From Steph Curry to Giannis Antetokoumpo to Lebron James, some of the best basketball players on the planet have visited the Thomas & Mack Center to watch the next wave of stars at Summer League. It's a spectacle the NBA and basketball fans are happy to have back after a year without it.
"We're from Maine and we're big basketball fans. And we thought it would be a great experience taking everybody here and seeing some NBA action. The kids are just loving it," said Matthew Oliver who brought his three kids to watch the action.
Even with new safety protocols in place, fans couldn't be happier to be back watching basketball, including the NBA's best and brightest young stars.
"Over the years, there have been players that came here, Lebron James, as a matter of fact. So you may see a star out here right now transpire to the NBA," said Mark, a Pistons fan.
"The competition is there for sure. Everybody is fighting for a spot, for their dreams. So, competition is there and hopefully, they can just keep it up and keep battling," said Tyler Clair, who was visiting Las Vegas from west Texas.
Fans are especially appreciative after COVID-19 canceled Summer League last year. The NBA's Senior Vice President of Global Events, Joseph Graziano, didn't say whether attendance was up or down compared to past years, but says this year's league has been a big success.
"It's been incredible. I would say the entire Vegas community has really shown out and again shown their love of the NBA and their love of basketball. Each day, we've had an incredible number of fans. We're really excited about how this year's Summer League has played out," said Graziano.
When asked whether Las Vegas could one day be home to its own NBA team, Graziano said we'll just have to wait and see.
"Listen, I want to know that too. Las Vegas is a place I certainly love to come to. I know all of our fans are here. So I'd love to someday know that answer just as much as you would," said Graziano.
Tuesday is the last day of Summer League action with seven more games being played in Las Vegas, highlighted by the championship game at 6 p.m. between the Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings.
19 August, 2021 - 09:20pm
19 August, 2021 - 11:00am
The mid-August experience was no different for a pair of Oklahoma City Thunder second-round picks in Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Aaron Wiggins.
Both players flashed at times across OKC’s five games in Las Vegas, but the most important thing was just getting into the flow of life in the NBA, said OKC interim Summer League head coach Kameron Woods.
“We threw a lot at them in a short amount of time. (We) tried to stretch those guys so they’re taking on a lot of information and they’re also playing a lot of games and playing a lot of minutes,” Woods said during a Zoom press conference at the conclusion of Summer League. “So the biggest thing I tiro from them was just their ability to carry over game by game and the mental ability to be able to get to the next game and wash the other one away.
“I think those are skills coming out of college that are really important to learn and try to engrave in those guys, and I thought they both did a really good job of that.”
Wiggins will have to walk the tough path of gettin this two-way deal converted into a full fledged NBA contract with the Thunder, but he said the experience in Summer League has helped him start the adjustment process.
“That’s the dream growing up, playing with the best players in the world and against the best players in the world. So obviously, everybody out there is really talented,” he said. “The physicality is completely different, the speed of the game is a little bit more different… There’s a lot that’s different in terms of transition from college to playing pro basketball, but (I’m) just continuing to play my position, play my role and get better every day.”
Robinson-Earl will have his own battles to fight in Year 1 with the Thunder.
Though he won’t have to fight for a spot on the roster off of a two-way deal like Wiggins, Robinson-Earl will get put in tough spots every night as he bounces between a stretch 4 and a stretch 5, much like Darius Bazley, Isaiah Roby and Aleksej Pokusevski did a season ago. But Robinson-Earl isn’t intimidated by the challenge, and he said he’s going to rely on his basketball upbringing, especially his time at Villanova, to help him grow throughout the season.
“I think Villanova does a great job developing versatility and just being prepared for the most difficult situations,” he said. “I might be in one situation one night, a different situation another night, but just always having an open mindset and a great attitude and just controlling what I can control.”
Regardless of how the actual games went, Woods said he was just proud of the progress OKC’s second-round duo made in Vegas.
“They had performances where it showed and even in the performances were they might not have thought they played well, there were things they were able to get into the game that are like the most important things,” Woods said. “Being able to carry over some of the mistakes they may have made, or being able to see plays that they didn’t see the play before or the game before.
“And so again, credit to those guys. I thought they handled this week really well and they were able to take on a lot of stuff that we were throwing at them.”