Posts Tagged ‘Offseason’

summertime_basketball

We’re smack dab in the middle of July, which means we’re still months removed from the official start of basketball season. However, summertime doesn’t stop many from getting their hoopin’ fix. Just for the mere sake of the seasonal climate during this time of year, the outdoor courts are frequented more, and the local gyms see an increase in people looking to test their skills against other players. See a few examples of people, places, and movements which highlight just how big summertime basketball has been–and is becoming

1. Sonny Hill, and the Baker League

Few individuals have been able to use the game of basketball to make such a remarkable impact upon their local communities like Sonny Hill. Mr. Hill, who is known as “The Mayor of Basketball” in Philadelphia, co-founded the Charles Baker League in 1960. Because of his tremendous contributions to the game of basketball in Philadelphia and beyond, he was inducted in the Philadelphia Sports Hall of FameThe league has witnessed a countless flow of ballers from Philly who have cut their teeth in this legendary bastion of basketball.

2. Rucker Park

Perhaps the most well-known and most popular locale for summertime hoops, the EBC Rucker Park–or “Rucker Park” as many call it–has been graced by the presence of basketball legends on every level, from Richard “Pee Wee” Kirkland, to Kevin “Easy Money Sniper” Durant.

3. The Goodman League

Located in the nation’s capital, The Goodman League has been around for 40 years as of this year, and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

4. The Drew League

While most of the country relishes in the opportunity to enjoy the summer season, Los Angeles is spoiled by warm and abundant sunshine throughout the year, which is probably one of the reasons why there’s no real need for the top-flight players of the Drew League to want to play outside. The league that boasts itself to be “The Most Elite Summer League In The World” has opened its doors to L.A. natives and legends alike, such as rapper The Game, and NBA hoopers such as Nick Young, James Harden, and DeMar DeRozan

5. Quai 54

Now this is where summertime basketball goes global! Held in the City of Lights, this tournament hosts 16 international teams, and 200+ amateur and pro players, according to its website.

6. NBA Summer League

The true to its reputation and business model, the NBA has taken its own summer league to a whole ‘nother level. With this year’s newest draftees and young players aspiring to prove their place in “The League”, be on the lookout for future legends to be made in this annual midsummer basketball proving ground in Las Vegas.

As you can see from the examples above, people, events, and leagues have shattered the notion that basketball is a winter sport. In fact, summertime is when many serious players get better at their craft. Legends are made in the summer. Now, let’s hoop.

NBA_banana boat

#BrotherHood.

This was the caption that was featured on Dwyane Wade’s Instagram post which showed his recent vacation on a gigantic banana boat with fellow NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and LeBron James.

Perhaps one caption says it all, as D-Wade shows the world that his alliance with the three other men in the photo is “bigger than basketball”, as he (and James) often talk about. I found this particular topic to be an interesting one, especially after hearing the latest episode of the Jalen & Jacoby podcast. Jacoby makes mention of the fact that some of the NBA’s “purist” old school fans who take issue with what they perceive to be a new school phenomenon of the players becoming too friendly on & off court (you can hear what Jacoby said at the 46:00 mark of this clip). That guys like Magic, Bird, and Jordan hated each other, and would never forge a friendship of any kind on–or off–the court.

Of course, the notion held by the old school fans of the “real NBA” might have forgotten that Magic and Bird’s friendship extended beyond the court; that MJ & Charles Oakley have been sidekicks for nearly thirty years (despite what you see in those early 90’s Bulls/Knicks games). It is also a well-known fact that Magic, Isiah Thomas, and Mark Aguirre always rolled together when they weren’t at each other’s throats during those late 80’s Lakers/Pistons rivalries.

MJ & Oak have been good friends for years.

MJ & Oak have been good friends for years.

So have Magic, Isiah, and Aguirre

So have Magic, Isiah, and Aguirre

The belief that competitors can’t be friends is ridiculous. As long as players’ friendships don’t water down their tenacity on the court, then who cares? Let ’em do battle on the court, and be family off the court.