July 21, 2011
To the regret of many, the NBA Summer League was cancelled this summer. Yet, while we were robbed of the chance to see this year's draft picks for the first time, we've been granted a decent replacement in the form of several summer leagues, most notably the Drew League in Los Angeles, the Goodman League in Washington, D.C., and the NC Pro-Am in, um, North Carolina. These leagues exist every summer, but they've taken on added significance this year as more NBA players attend and fans pay more attention in the absence of other options.
Two of those leagues, the Drew and Goodman, are trying to capitalize on that newfound relevance with a huge exhibition game on Aug. 20 in D.C. On Thursday, the rosters were announced. Check them out (via PBT):
For the Goodman League: Kevin Durant(notes) (Thunder), John Wall(notes) (Wizards), Ty Lawson(notes) (Nuggets), Gary Neal(notes) (Spurs), Tyreke Evans(notes) (Kings), Michael Beasley(notes) (Timberwolves), DeMarcus Cousins(notes) (Kings), Josh Selby(notes) (Grizzlies), Sam Young(notes) (Grizzlies), Donte Greene(notes) (Kings), Hugh "Baby Shaq" Jones (AND1 Tour), Emanuel "Duce" Jones and Warren "D-Nice" Jefferson.
For the Drew League: James Harden(notes) (Thunder), DeMar DeRozan(notes) (Raptors), Nick Young(notes) (Wizards), Dorrell Wright (Warriors), Brandon Jennings(notes) (Bucks), JaVale McGee(notes) (Wizards), Craig Smith(notes) (Clippers), Pooh Jeter(notes) (Kings), Bobby Brown(notes) (Aris BC), Marcus Williams (Grizzlies) and three more players yet to be named.
Those are terrific lineups, a mix of stars, up-and-coming players, and quality role players. I would have liked to see more local legends involved, but it's hard to complain. At first glance, the Goodman appears to have the stronger squad, but you never know what may happen in what figures to be an open game.