Watch an NBA Game For Less Than $4.17?

John 'Fatty'-FatlandCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2009

LONG BEACH, CA - JULY 14:  Mike Dunleavy #32 of the Golden State Warriors puts up a shot against Mike Batiste #23 of the Los Angeles Clippers during the Summer Pro League on March 14, 2002 at the Long Beach Pyramid in Long Beach, California.  The Clippers won 118-106.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2002 NBAE  (Photo by Mary Ciecek/Getty Images)

Where can you stay in a hotel for less then $20 a night, eat all you want for $1.99, get free beer, and watch six NBA games, live and in person, up close,  for only $25? **

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Not if you are in Las Vegas between July 10 and 19 for the NBA Summer League 2009.

You heard correct. This has to be one of the best bargains in the world for an NBA junkie, who doesn't want the season to end.

Sounds tempting, no? It gets better.

Twenty-one NBA teams composed of the best from college, top NBA rookies, and eager free agents will all be playing hard to get a spot on your favorite NBA team, or perhaps some European team. It's fun. It's exciting. It's more than amazing. It's a blast!

Good seats, eh buddy?!

There are no nose-bleed sections here. Most of the games are in the small and quaint Cox Pavillion, a large high school-like gym. You see all of the action up close. When you yell at the players, they can look and wave back. Yi did this to us and a Chinese group next to us.

We even razzed Jimmie Buss, VP and part-owner of the Lakers, who was sitting courtside.

We yelled, "Make a trade Buss!" He looked up, waved, and said something nice back.


Up close, and personal.

The benches are right in front of you. What would you pay for that seat in a big NBA arena?

During warm-ups, I went up to a Lakers coach, Tex Winter and said "Hi." He said, "Hi" back.

You sit next to, not only other basketball junkies, but NBA scouts, coaches, and General Managers.

Once, get this, I was using the urinal next to George Karl, while he was talking to a scout. If not for the awkwardness, I could have gotten his autograph.

"Coach Karl, when you're through, can you sign my program?!"

After the game, the players come up to the lobby, not just to sign autographs, but to visit.

The Crowd

Normal NBA crowds for me are way too laid back, but not this one.

The crowds really get into the game. They scream, yell, ooh and awh with the action, and challenge the NBA players, to go at it. They really know basketball.  They  love the slam dunks, swatted shots, and challenges, and then scream for more.

My daughter got into it and was yelling, "Woe baby, you are looking good!" Then turned to me, and said, "Daddy, can I take him home, please!"

"The Elevator"

Next to the lobby, and near the court entrance is "the elevator," my favorite place to hang. I quickly learned that this is "the elevator" that might make a player's career or possibly crush it. Hanging around it were free agents, some very nervous, and their more nervous, "show me the money" agents.

Steve Kerr walked up to one next to me and said "Let's go." He glanced at me, like, "Are you with them?" I shook my head no. Into "the elevator" they went, up to some office. I guessed they were going to talk free agent business stuff. I was really nervous for that guy.

Are you going?

For this price, in this economy, almost anyone can afford this vacation. Even the wife or girlfriend will let you go, if, you take them as well.

I don't know why anyone would want all the other Vegas stuff, with all this going down, but if you feel compelled to drink, gamble, and party all night, then you can certainly do so, and the Vegas businesses will love it, if you do.

If you plan to go, here's some  information from NBA.com. Check out your team's site and see who they are sending.

 Look me up if you get a chance. I'm the guy, loitering near "the elevator" pretending to be some big-time agent.

** To get the free beer, you must be 21 and be betting in the casinos, or at least, like me, pretending to be pulling the slots like Fred Sanford did, on "Sanford and Son."

"Waitress, bring me a drink, or I'm not pulling your slot until you do!"


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