With the Orlando Summer League winding down, I wanted to take a look back at what was a memorable week. While the basketball may not have been good, that’s not what Summer League is about. It’s about networking, meeting people, learning more about the game both on and off the court, the simple nuances you don’t get from just watching from afar. It was my first year covering Summer League, and I can say that it’s a week I won’t soon be forgetting.
The hours were long. The days began to blend together. The basketball seemed the same every day: sloppy, disjointed, but with glimmers of hope that could turn the most pessimistic fan into a believer. It approached fast, went by like the speed of light, and now, it’s done. Just like that.
You know how I mentioned it’s not just about the basketball, it’s about meeting people? Yeah, that’s seriously what this week is about. We’re all here united by the love of one game, a game that allows us to write, talk and speculate about basketball, all day, every day. We shared laughs, some “oohs” some “ahhs,” but mostly we shared our love for basketball.
I’d feel rude if I didn’t acknowledge all of the absolutely fantastic people I’ve built friendships with this week. Starting with Matthew Hochberg of Dime Magazine, then moving to Tom Westerholm of Celtics Hub, Tyler Lashbrook of SB Nation, Jordan White of HP Basketball and of course Jay King of MassLive. The amount of people I’ve been able to meet this week and do things with just makes me feel even that much luckier to be doing this.
From pick up ball in the morning, to late nights out on the town talking about it, we had basketball running through our veins all day everyday since Saturday. That’s never going to change, at least not any time soon.
It gets kind of surreal when you’re sitting and two seats down are the likes of Larry Bird and Danny Ainge. Or when you’re sitting around talking to Stan Van Gundy, or any other coach, just talking about basketball, learning and soaking information up. This is why we do it, why we sit through the crappy basketball, for the moments like that.
It’s not a week that has given us great basketball, but it surely won’t be one I’m forgetting anytime soon. This experience and the time I’ve gotten to spend around so many great writers, coaches, scouts, etc. just makes me realize just how lucky I am to be doing this for a living.
Till next year Orlando Summer League, till next year.