The 2018 NBA G League Winter Showcase took place this last week in Vegas, the South Bay Lakers got their shot to play in front of NBA scouts and GMs.
All the action, if you are a fan of the South Bay Lakers or basketball in general, was at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas Nevada.
That’s where about 200 scouts with a perfect view of the court watched all the NBA G League players step it up to great a sport on an NBA team roster.
The South Bay Lakers didn’t play until Thursday afternoon, day two of four. Wearing their purple jerseys, they battled the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets affiliate). It wasn’t an easy game, and frustrating when even the referees are probably looking for a promotion.
The atmosphere is intense. As many players explained to me, from several teams, everyone is out for themselves. The coaches aren’t necessarily determined to get all the players visibility, they want to win.
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Many players in the G League are forced to play positions they are uncomfortable playing to fit into the developing coaches scheme. A lot of the time, it’s not the coach in the G League who picked the players, it’s the GM’s.
Players are told that the NBA wants scorers, but the scouts say they are looking for everything else. It’s so confusing. You see a lot of players on teams pulling up to shoot three’s, missing most, but still, it seems its a dog eat dog world out there for racking up points.
This is a chance for all the NBA teams to see talent in one place. This year, the G League decided to get serious and only allow GM’s, scouts, agents, players, some of the player’s families, and coaches in for the games. The G League president told us he thought there were too many ‘fan’ types in the convention center pop-up courts.
Full scoreboards lined both sides of the court with all the stats by a player on the court. Curtains sectioned off the two courts with cool lighting and Gatorade logo’s in black and orange.
South Bay has the most animated bench in the league hands down, though Salt Lake City could give them a run for their money. Colby Karl does a great job teaching team basketball and the players fully support each other, which helps the team because they actually aren’t playing iso basketball.
This is the first time I noticed was the team’s kicks. Isaac Bonga rocks three stripe (Adidas) but for the rest of the team, it’s Nike all the way. In this setting, the details are more prominent.
The Lakers fell short to Greensboro, but hopefully, players got the exposure they wanted. I love this team no matter what and wish the best for each and every one of them.
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