NBA Summer League: Is Anyone Really Watching?

Straight Up With Sturg
July 15, 2019 - 2:19 pm

When is enough simply that… enough?  It’s July 15th, the Toronto Raptors were crowned NBA Champions over a month ago, and I’m already sick of the NBA heading into the upcoming season.  I’m a Sports Talk Show host, and I already need a break.We’ve gone from a way too long 82 game regular season, to months of the Playoffs, to the NBA Draft; and now this thing called “Summer League”.  Once Zion Williamson bruised his knee in the first game, and the New Orleans Pelicans declared he was out until training camp, the NBA ship sailed in to “international waters” for me because it had already left port.

Here’s what NBA Summer League Basketball represents to me… lower tier college football bowl games.  At least I will watch those, and for a good enough reason as well.  With 31 bowl games, you know there are only 32 college football games left when you include the Championship Game.  Therefor the need to soak in the Bad Boy Motors Gasperilla Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Respect those final games, you know the season is coming to an end; that’s what College Football fans can tell themselves for watching that First Responders Bowl.

I can’t even begin to fathom what my friends like Tyler Butler at “My Sports Culture” get out of viewing NBA Summer League Basketball.  You are watching a bunch of rookies and guys that are likely headed to the G-League or overseas.  But what have you honestly learned?  Here are my “Top Two Takeaways” from the Summer League so far…

1:  Players look overrated, especially RJ Barret.

2:  Grayson Allen is still a punk on the court.

Here’s the win for ESPN.  They get to set up two arenas and not have to break them down, hire a couple of crews, and get at least a month’s worth of programming.  This is the very reason that every new bowl that comes on the scene is aired by ESPN.  When you can book a block of television programming over four hours as the “four letter network” does with bowl games, that is very advantageous for the company.

The NBA can service their hardcore fans; General Managers and “Governors” can decide on who their Top five are in case someone gets hurt; and training camp will only be four weeks away and then preseason games.  That’s too much NBA for me, and I get paid to talk sports.

Why do we love football so much, both College and NFL?  It goes away at times and leaves us waiting for its return.  I can at least justify watching some December bowl games as I know the season is concluding and thus savor the moment.  I can even watch NFL preseason games and justify it by admitting the season begins in a few weeks.  I also understand the strategy of filling airtime.  

The NBA Summer League is simply filler to me.  Is that good for the game, I don’t know?  Last time I checked Adam Silver wasn’t asking for my opinion of things.  I just know I’m happy that “Media Days” for College Football begin this week, and “Straight Up with Sturg” will be broadcasting from the Carolina Panthers Training Camp at Wofford College next Thursday.

Basketball season, you are finally over, it’s time to “Huddle Up” and “Fill the bases”, and I’ll worry about you come October!!

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