There's no NBA Summer League this summer, which means that we've been robbed of early looks at new players like Ricky Rubio and extra glances at the rookies who made their mark on the league in 2010-11. Luckily, there are several outlets for these players, including the Greater NC Pro-AM in Durham. Hailed as "the Rucker of the South," the NC Pro-Am brings together some great players in an open and affordable setting. It's fun any year, but the increased presence of big names during the lockout makes it a must-see event for anyone in the area.
Sometimes you even get to see some of the brightest young stars in the NBA. On Tuesday night, fans got to see Wizards point guard John Wall in the kind of setting that shows off his many open-court gifts. His team won the game, too, if you care about such things during exhibition games. Although that fact may seem a little less impressive when you realize that he faced off against NBA castaway Julius Hodge.
The NC Pro-Am isn't NBA-sponsored, but it's still a lot of fun. Basketball is basketball, as the slogan goes, and we should take it in whichever exciting forms exist these days.
(Video via TBJ's Trey "The Zookeeper" Kerby)