NBA Summer League is a lot of fun, especially for basketball nerds (and that term is used in only the most affectionate of ways.) A mix of new and rising stars in the league, a bunch of “Oh right, that guy was good in college!” names, and some foreign players you probably haven’t seen before and might not see again, the contests are entertaining basketball during a time in the calendar that doesn’t offer much beyond baseball.
With the addition of Lonzo Ball’s Lakers, and the particular sideshow that brings, the Las Vegas summer action this year is going to be watched even more closely, and Saturday night’s Boston/Los Angeles main event lived up to the billing.
Lonzo had a solid night, recovering from a shaky debut to rack up a triple-double, recording 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
He hit double digits in points with this late slam:
But the Celtics were too much, with Jayson Tatum specifically showing why the Celtics were comfortable passing on Fultz and Ball while trading down to the third spot. Here’s Tatum nailing a buzzer beater to finish off the third quarter:
And here’s a look at a very pretty move to have in your arsenal as a rookie:
Jayson Tatum's spin & fadeaway with the replay pic.twitter.com/e2dez0cabo
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) July 9, 2017
The Celtics ended up winning despite Ball’s performance, there was one person who felt that a triple-double doesn’t mean anything:
LaVar Ball wasn't too impressed after Lonzo's triple-double in a loss: 'Point guards ain't judged on stats. They're judged on victories.' pic.twitter.com/9wKkHblPou
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 9, 2017
Can we just not, with the LaVar Ball stuff? Shouldn’t he be off taking some important business meetings for the brand he’s building? (It’s not a good sign that it’s already annoying in game two of summer league.)
Still, that was a fun night of summer league ball, and unlike the evening’s finale that saw #1 overall pick Markelle Fultz leave the court hurt, there wasn’t really anything to be upset about. Just fun basketball in a fun atmosphere.