Monday, July 18, 2016

On the NBA Summer League, and Perceptions Thereof

One of the great joys of being an obsessive sports fan is reading the coverage of the minutiae. Take, for example, the NBA summer leagues, in all their various guises, and the media coverage thereof.

Now, these things serve a useful purpose. They let prized rookies get their feet wet before training camp, they allow guys who aren't on rosters a chance to impress potential employers, and they're often a little bit of a dry run for young vets whose roster status may be the teensiest bit shaky. But, for basketball freaks, they're the only game in town post-draft, which is why you get endless bits of breathless coverage overanalyzing literally everything that happens.

Take, for example, the slew of articles that talk about how rookies are being slow to adjust to the speed and size of the NBA game. Now, it may be true that they have not yet fully adapted - there are guys who've been in the league for ten years who haven't fully adapted (and many of them play for Sacramento) - but slow to adapt? The summer league season is roughly 5 games long.


And guys are getting dinged as "slow to adapt" after one or two. Apparently, the sportswriters of the world live in eternal hope that, say, Ben Simmons will pop out of the locker room for a couple of cheeseburgers during quarters, then come back 40 pounds heavier and rippling with muscle. Or they're expecting 19 year old kids to master the intricacies of entirely new offensive systems in a day or two.

These are not reasonable expectations. This is not reasonable writing. And God help us all when the regular season actually hits.

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