NBA Summer League In Vegas: Are You Fan Enough To Go?

John 'Fatty'-FatlandCorrespondent IJuly 8, 2009

NBA addicts and basketball junkies.

Do you find yourself wishing the NBA season was still here?

Are you counting the days until the 2009 season starts?

And tired of watching old games on the DVR over and over again?

You don't have to suffer anymore. There is a fix to your addiction. You can be helped.

The NBA Las Vegas Summer League can solve your problem.

Where else can you stay in a hotel for less then $20 a night, eat all you want for $2.99, get free beer, and watch six NBA games, all in one day for only $25? **

Sounds too good to be true, right?

You heard correct. This has to be one of the best travel bargains in the world for an NBA junkie.

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.

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It's fun. It's exciting. It's more than amazing. And it's a blast!

I know, I've been there, and am still on a buzz, and high from my experience. 

Good seats, eh buddy?!

Everything is close. It feels like you're not only in the middle of stuff, but part of it.

You don't have to be a Movie or Rock star to get great seats. 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 the legendary Lakers coach, Tex Winter and said "Hi." He said, "Hi" back.

And when the game starts, you can yell at the players, and they wave back. Once, Yi pointed and waved back to us after we all chanted his name.

You sit next to, not only other basketball junkies and fellow addicts, but NBA scouts, coaches, and General Managers. Some will take the time to talk to you, if you are not afraid to ask questions.

This is how up close, and personal, it can get,

Once,  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 for a meet and greet. Not just to sign autographs, but you can actually visit and ask questions.

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 aah with the action, and challenge the NBA players to go at it, and sometimes they do. 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 to Berea from the Dallas Mavericks, "Wow 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, and waiting, were free agents, some very nervous, and their more nervous, "show me the money" agents.

"The elevator" would open, then they all would anxiously look and see if they were being invited by General Managers to go up.  For them, it had to be like some version of The Twilight Zone. Oddly, I saw them go in, but never come back.

One time it opened and Steve Kerr came out, walked up to a player next to me and said "Let's go." He glanced at me, as if to say, "Are you with them?" I shook my head no, but felt like wishing the kid 'good luck'. 

Into "the elevator" they went, up to some office to talk possible contracts. I was really nervous for that guy.

Are you going?

For this price, in this economy, almost anyone can afford this NBA fix. Even the wife or girlfriend will let you go. Just tell them its a vacation, "It Vegas baby!", and of course, 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 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, getting his "fix", by 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.

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