In the past, just to catch some sweet summer league action, you'd have to subscribe to a premium cable or satellite package and set your DVR to record games on a weekday morning. Then, you'd have to trudge through commercials and stoppages of play, just to catch a few glimpses of your team's stars. Don't get me started about how crazy it was back in the late 00s, when we had to stream Summer League games online with no commentary. *shudder*
But in the world of today, you can catch up on the Summer League through about an hour of YouTubing. Here's my ranking and rating of the best 10 highlight reels out there:
10. Andre Roberson vs. Pacers
So much length. So many boards. So little excitement.
9. Semaj Christon vs. Heat
This video is pretty long for a highlight reel, but it gives you a good idea of Christon's game. He's solid at doing a lot of little things, can drive to the hole, and is willing to make passes within the offense.
8. Steven Adams vs. Grizzlies
Steven Adams has already proven himself to be on the athletic level of the regular NBA. His ability to draw flagrant fouls is legendary in OKC, and he's already proven himself more than worthy of the starting role. So when you look at a Steven Adams Summer League highlight reel, you're looking for two things. The first is his Basketball IQ. Is he in the right places, making the right plays? Considering how easy some of his baskets were, I'd say that's a check. The second thing you're looking for is growth. Did Steven learn new moves and expand his game? Considering he hit a hook, I'd say that's a check. Now just work on those free throws, and we'll all be happier for it.
7. Semaj Christon vs. Sixers
This highlight reel won't impress you with amazing-looking plays, but it does show you a great deal of tenacity. In a largely energyless game with little scoring, Christon was able to spark OKC's offense for a few points. It wasn't enough to win, but Garbage Time doesn't exist in the Summer League.
6. Mitch McGary vs. Pacers
This highlight reel is mainly boring plays in a blowout, but I have three words for you: Coast to Coast.
5. Michael Stockton vs. Nets
The son of John Stockton didn't get to the Summer League on name alone. After graduating from tiny Westminster College in Salt Lake City, he had to work his way up through the German system for two years before getting an invite to this year's Summer League. I doubt he'll ever see our roster, but this highlight reel is still pretty special. Michael Stockton passes the ball with years of experience under his belt, the type of thing that can only be acquired from years of working with a master of the art.
4. Jeremy Lamb vs. Nets
There's always one game that Jeremy Lamb manages to beast during the Summer League. It's the game that we like to attach to and remember, in the hopes that Jeremy Lamb can someday provide this kind of production consistently. But even in his greatest triumph, he shot 2 of 7 from beyond the arc and committed three turnovers. I know I'm being a negative nellie, but the steals in this reel are reason enough to continue hope. As long as he can continue to be mentally tough, make smart decisions, and can mid-range jumpers, then he should be able to find a consistent role in the NBA.
3. Perry Jones III vs. Grizzlies
Who the heck is that man? When was the last time Perry Jones III dribbled the ball all the way from the three point line to the basket? How does he have such an active motor? I'm almost excited to see him get a shot next season.
2. Jeremy Lamb vs. Grizzlies
This wasn't one of Lamb's better performances, as he only shot 4 of 12 from the field. But this highlight reel doesn't tell you that, and it's easily one of my favorites. Some of the moves Lamb is able to pull off in this video are really advanced. I mean, it's stuff that I didn't even know he was capable of. Efficiency is still a problem, but the moves are there.
1. Mitch McGary vs. Nets
"I want a big man who can run the floor, nail jumpers with a man in his face, and still play good defense", said the spoiled Thunder fan. "Here's some candy", said Mitch McGary.
What was your favorite highlight? Let us know in the comments!