News From the Summer League

Joe WillettSenior Writer IJuly 12, 2008

This article is also posted at, a basketball fan's site.  I figured you all would like it because, well, you seem to enjoy reading this sporting stuff.

Top Picks Can't Stay Healthy

First, Michael Beasley gets a cracked sternum during his very first practice.  Is this guy that fragile that he can't even make it through one NBA practice?

Say what you want about the differences in sports and toughness, but I'm not exactly a pro-caliber player, and I made it through three quarters of freshman football season before I broke my arm and called it a career (and what a three-play career it was).

Then, the first pick, Derrick Rose, is announced to have tendinitis in his right knee.  These guys are not nearly as tough as the days of when the Bad Boys in Detroit played.

I'm getting tired of players going down for injuries so soon and so often.  It seems to be happening more and more, with Greg Oden just last year going out for the season.

Oklahoma City Looks Like They Have a Future

First, their pick that surprised a lot of people in the draft, Russell Westbrook out of UCLA, played great offensively, which was a pretty big surprise for most.  His highlight was going 8-10 with 19 points on Tuesday.

Their other young-gun, Kevin Durant, showed his dedication to the team by showing up for the Summer Leagues, which are usually meant for draft picks and players on the bubble for roster spots.  He also dominated, adding 22 points to Westbrook's 19 points on Tuesday.

Sure this is the Summer Leagues, but they are all playing the same competition, and Westbrook stood out as the best rookie to play throughout the short span of games.

Vince Carter Moves Into a New Role

Carter doesn't necessarily have to be at the Summer Leagues.  And although he didn't play, he was there all week offering advice to young players, as well as joining them in workouts and practices.

This is a side to older players that doesn't show that often.  This is great because a lot of the prospects he's helping were in middle school and high school when Carter was tearing up the NBA earlier in his career.

Being able to be mentored by this guy is always a great opportunity.  I also assume that being with these young players is keeping him driven to show up and play every day to set a good example.

Kudos to Carter for his smart play and smarter practice.

More Beasley Talk

Beasley was the main person that dominated the Orlando Summer League headlines.

In his first game against the Bulls, he was great.  He scored, he rebounded, he did everything that he did in college, and people were already questioning the Bulls' pick.

Then, the very next game, he wasn't the same player.  He was missing shots, he was getting blocked, he wasn't getting rebounds, and everybody was saying that they had no clue what was going on.

I don't get why people are so surprised about what happened.  The Bulls just went out to play, the Nets wanted to make sure Beasley didn't kill him.

When you game-plan for a player like the Nets did, there isn't much of a chance that he is going to kill your team.  It's not like he's Kobe Bryant, and can get past any player.  What's more, people are saying that Beasley is the better pick because of the Summer League.

Everybody knew Beasley was the most NBA-ready player going into the draft, so of course he is going to do better in the Summer League.  The Bulls picked Rose for the future, the Heat picked Beasley for now.

Wait three years, then judge the pick.

That's all for now, hope you enjoyed my little notes from the past week of Summer League play.

I'm Joe W.

Joe also writes for, a Chicago Cubs blog, and, a basketball fan's site. (My article name is Average Joe's)