Las Vegas Rumors
Bennett spent his summer at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, training twice a day with NBA players like New York’s Kyle O’Quinn and Philadelphia’s Amir Johnson. He was looking for a chance in the NBA. “I was trying to go to the Suns,” Bennett explained. “There was just a whole bunch of injuries at the wrong time. I felt nice with hard work during the summer. I felt like I was ready to go but just at the time everything just kind of hit me. It was my back, my ankle, just a lot of things I couldn’t really push through.”
The Orlando Sentinel reported Saturday night that the Orlando Magic is discontinuing its annual professional summer league to play in the Las Vegas Pro Summer League that’s become a mainstay on the NBA’s off-season calendar. “It’s disappointing,” Van Gundy said before the Pistons faced the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said in advance of Sunday’s game against the Pacers that the Heat have not thought about starting a replacement summer league in place of the cancelled Orlando league. “I think the thought with the league is the Las Vegas Summer League is getting bigger,” Spoelstra said. “The majority of the teams go out there like us and you end up having close to two weeks of games there anyway. So we’ll just try to maximize that and see if we can get some more games. And I don’t know if we’ll be able to match the amount of games that we’ve had by doing both [Orlando and Las Vegas], but there are pros and cons.”
The Magic have held a summer league 14 times since 2002. “The pendulum is swinging toward teams playing in Vegas,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman told the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s a level of competition and a level of exposure when more or less every team in the league is there and you’re playing in front of 20,000 people as opposed to playing in a gym with a few hundred people. So it better prepares you for what NBA life is really about with the crowds, the pressure, the travel — a lot of what you’re going to have to confront. Obviously, it’s not a true test of an NBA season, but it’s a little taste.”
The Orlando Magic will not hold their annual summer league in Orlando next year and will participate instead in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, team officials told the Orlando Sentinel. The decision is a radical departure for the Magic, who ran and managed their own summer league in Central Florida 14 times since 2002.
A somber Magic Johnson implored fans to “come together” and not let “evil and hate” stop people from coming to Las Vegas before the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings tried to entertain fans and take their minds off the shooting that took place here last Sunday. “This is a tough situation for all of us,” Johnson, the Lakers team president, said as he addressed the crowd at the T-Mobile Arena on Sunday night before the Lakers-Kings preseason game. “We play this game, from Sacramento as well as from Los Angeles, with heavy hearts. … Last Sunday, fifty-eight people lost their lives. Hundreds more were injured. We want to pray for the families who lost a loved one and want to support those families. And we want to also remember that it could have been one of us.”