Wednesday, August 31, 2011

LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant Send Message with Exhibition

Back when time was young, summer ball—no, not random Ron Artest sightings in the Vegas Summer League—was an integral part of NBA player culture. Pro-am leagues offered them a chance to cut loose and show off their creative sides.

At the same time, in the 1960s and early 1970s, All-Stars often found themselves matched up against players who could, or should, have been in their position. Scouting was primitive, opportunities far more scarce and the league itself had far fewer spots. Street cred, as it were, was a double-edged sword.

It’s been a while since summer run meant much of anything. Some pros still make celebrity cameos at the Rucker, and in D.C., Gilbert Arenas and Kevin Durant made the Goodman League part of their offseason itinerary. Los Angeles’ Drew League and Houston’s Fonde Rec Center were also favorite haunts for NBA players. Mostly, though, it was a diluted version of the olden days. Kobe Bryant or Vince Carter wowed fans in an intimate environment, helping burnish their brand; guys looking for a relatively competitive game knew where to find one.

COntinue reading at bleacherreport


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