Smack / Jul 20, 2009 / 6:05 am

Vegas Summer League wraps up, plus more hatred for LeBron

Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson

As much as we make summer league about the rookies, this year’s Vegas version was stocked with young “vets” whose play could be a sign of big things to come when the real games start. Nick Young, Anthony Randolph, Jason Thompson, even Adam Morrison and Marcus Williams all put in work, but when the VSL wrapped up yesterday, it was rookie Blake Griffin who was named MVP … Blake averaged 19 points and 10 boards in his five games with the JV Clippers, and in his finale put up 16 and eight in a matchup with older brother Taylor Griffin (4 pts, 6 rebs) and the Suns. We’re probably not going out on a limb saying that was the first and last game those two ever play where they’re across from each other in the starting lineup. It’ll be garbage time of Suns/Clips in the regular season before Blake and Taylor share the court again … JaVale McGee, who properly baptized Blake just the other day, put up 31 points, eight boards and four blocks against the Knicks. Jordan Hill had 21 points and seven boards … Is anyone in Memphis worried that both Sam Young and DeMarre Carroll have been consistently outplaying Hasheem Thabeet? Young and Carroll each scored 16 in a win over San Antonio, while Thabeet went for nine points (4-11 FG), five rebounds and eight fouls. True, it’s easier for a pure scorer like Young and a energy/hustle guy like Carroll to make an immediate impact in a setup like summer league, but Thabeet still looks like he has a ways to go … James Johnson and DeMarcus Nelson scored 18 apiece to lead the Bulls over the Wolves, who got 20 points from Corey Brewer and seven points, seven dimes, and a contest-worthy windmill from Jonny FlynnTy Lawson dropped 24 points, and undrafted rook C.J. Giles added 13 points, 10 boards and three blocks for the Nuggets against the Hornets, while Julian Wright scored 24 for N.O. … So who did the most for himself during summer league? You have to look at Marcus Williams. He was out of the League by the end of last season and had zero buzz around him as far as free agents go, but with the Grizzlies summer squad, the UConn product averaged 13 points, eight assists and only committed 11 total turnovers in five games. Whether it’s with Memphis or another team, Williams should find a home next season. (And yes, we remember when Williams was widely considered a better pro prospect than Rajon Rondo) … Chase Budinger and Joey Dorsey also deserve a nod here. With the Rockets trying to figure themselves out now that Yao and Ron Artest are gone, and having no idea what they’ll be able to get from T-Mac, Budinger and Dorsey made an early impression to get themselves spots in the rotation. Budinger shot the rock like he was at the Pop-A-Shot at Dave & Buster’s, hitting 68 percent from the field and SEVENTY-TWO percent from three. Dorsey pulled down almost 15 rebounds per game … So, seeing as we’re about to hit another dry spell of basketball, would anyone be opposed to this week’s Team USA mini-camp being put on TV kind of like how the NFL Network airs the Senior Bowl practices? … As far as the NBA big leagues, the Cavs signed Jamario Moon to an offer sheet, which we’re thinking the Heat won’t match. Miami should be pooling all the money they can to get some impact guys around D-Wade, and Moon doesn’t really fit that description. He’s a nice guy to have for highlights here and there, but he’s almost a lock to lose you a couple games with his 7th grade decision-making … Earl Watson agreed to a one-year deal with the Pacers, which also clears the way for Shaun Livingston to — if he stays healthy, of course — secure that backup PG spot to Russell Westbrook with the Thunder … Yesterday we posted the NBA.com Top 10 plays of the season, and the negative backlash against LeBron continues. Was the LeBron hype train partially responsible for LBJ’s game-winner against Orlando in the ECF being ranked the #1 play? Obviously. Was the play totally undeserving of the top spot? No. And to those who say it was a meaningless shot because the Cavs lost the series, but then say Brandon Roy‘s shot in the regular season should have been ranked higher — do you see the issue there? … This past weekend was a gold mine for basketball movies we randomly ran across on free TV. We caught Pistol: The Birth of a Legend (Pete Maravich biopic), White Men Can’t Jump (Did you know the guy who played Duck Johnson is Freeman Williams, who is coincidentally the NCAA’s second all-time leading scorer behind Pistol Pete?), and My Giant. OK, so Gheorghe Muresan‘s acting opus wasn’t exactly a basketball movie, but it was better than Crossover … We’re out like Foods That Start With The Letter “Q” …

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  • Dayo

    1st!!! Really feels like Iverson isn’t a free agent!


    No mention of Derek Fisher shots? Lebron saved his team from a sweep.

  • the_don_mega

    i’d like to see Chase Budinger and Stehpen Curry in a shootout…


    Budinger is a monster at volley ball — Harold Miner, Vince, Kemp, Dee Brown, Dominique, and Cedric Ceballos — Gold Winning Team right there, imagine the volley ball kills and blocks!

  • alf (from melmak)

    I am going out on a limb here by saying that Hasheem Thabeet will be the biggest bust since Darko.

    I am also happy for Shaun Livingston possibly getting another opportunity to showcase his talents or whatever is left of it. I am pulling for a Cinderella story from him. Maybe he can break the Clippers jinx.

    Lastly my meal allowance says that aside from White Men Can’t Jump, the best basketball movies would be Blue Chips, Coach Carter, and that (if it counts) the Larry Bird documentary. Do I hear Smalltown by John Mellencamp in the background?

  • danny

    Thabeet is playing like he needs a year in the d-league..or two.-

  • Tim

    I think devin harris shot > lebrons

  • Mark

    Everyone is forgetting Sunset Park! great basketball movie! ‘its time to get live, time to represent..sunset park what time is it’!!!

  • JOB33

    Sunset Park! haha I damn near got kicked off of my team for that damn movie. Homeboy gave it to coach to play on the bus trip, didn’t get past the opening scene, and I got blamed. I still went on to get team mvp and all-district so I can’t hate

  • focalmatic

    How can everyone forget Above the Rim? Duane Martin was getting busy back in the day plus who was that cat in the red that was mixtape-ing everyone? His handle was pretty dope when I think about it…circa 1994

  • http://www.CalmYoSelf.com Kermit the Washington

    The “top play” of the year probably wasn’t that play. But the big one was Lebron’s DUNK that was ranked the “top dunk” of the year! That was LeHype all the way.

  • dagood

    houston picked up some good, underrated players this year.

  • Kobeef

    Griffin for MVP? What a joke.

    Randolph averaged 27pts, 8.5 reb, 2 steals, 3 blocks.
    Blatche averaged 19 and 11.

    Blake’s MVP is just another case of the NBA looking out for one of its golden boys.

  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla

    The KING and DUC!
    Flight & Willie!
    Marcus Johnson!
    best b-ball movie of all time easily.

    Above the Rim would be 2nd. Those actors can actually hoop.

    As for Blake “Maximus” Griffin. Dude is a carbon copy of Charles Barkley. He is also going into a slightly similar situation as Charles when he came into the L. Charles had Doc. J, Moses, and that championship team of Veterans to learn from. Baron, Camby and the gang ain’t Champs but they are pretty good vets who have been to the playoffs and even the finals (Camby/99 Knicks)

    Oh and Javel “YOUNG BARRACK” McGee should have a pretty significant impact with the Wizards if everyone is healthy. That team is sort of like the 99 Knicks with him being Camby and all the fire power on the perimeter.

  • karizmatic

    I didn’t even read the comments from the top 10 plays post and I already knew there was going to be a serious Lebron backlash to it. It was a great play though. Maybe not number one all season but a great play.

  • Dagger

    Someone hits a three pointer well behind the line with 1 second left in a game everyone thought had already been lost in the Eastern Conference Playoffs and yeah, no big deal. Of course because it’s LEBRON it’s hyped up. Obviously. For fuck’s sake, the whole damn top 10 could have been filled with Lebron plays. The hate this summer is truly insane, considering the causes, but perhaps that goes with being the game’s best player. I remember Kobe was even more hated (although calling for your teammates to be shipped out, playing selfishly and being charged with rape seem a bit more serious to me), and Jordan was certainly hated by a small but vocal minority. Pretty sad that some love to hate greatness, but that’s part of the human condition I guess.

  • Chitown 23/33

    That D Wade play was the best overall play of the year even though I’m still having nightmares about it. You can’t quantify impact because of when it happened because at the end of the day everybody lost except for the Lakers. No one had a bigger Summer League impact than Randolph period. Does the summer league MVP only go to rookies or something..someone please explain this to me.

  • MSkittle

    It should have been:

    1. Harris shot
    2. Wade shot
    3. LeBron

  • Mark

    If it only goes to rookies then maybe griffin gets the nod (Brandon Jennings was a nice suprise!) If it can go to anyone then how does it not go to randolph?!!? Dude was consistently DOMINANT!!

  • http://dime sure

    The Lakers should sign Marcus Williams on the cheap. The Hawks,Blazers,& Magic could easily use him to push for a NBA title. Talent is very hard to find. He just plays lazy and is very effective. His D could use some work. Barring that injury in NJ i’d still rather have a pass first pg than a scoring machine in Devin. Harris cannot make people better. Marcus Williams made that summer league roster look great. He’s solely responsible for saving Thaabet from a massacre from the reporters. He makes carrol look balkman like and better. He should have came to the Knicks last year. Remember he’s Brandon’s cousin. It’s in the blood. He played at UCONN & he’s lefty. He shoots better is plain better than alot of guards in the league. Eric Snow said it best. If it’s fair it should be trouble in Memphis. Mike Conley is or never will be better than Marcus Williams. He doesn’t shoot or pass remotely close to him. Let him start in Portland and bring bayless of the bench. Portland would be the current year Warriors. Trouble.

  • http://dime sure

    Thaabet needs a pg to be succesful. Somebody please sign Jeff Adrien. Bully,Monster,Rebounds 15ft jumpshot. For the cheap=winning. Marcus would turn Rudy Gay and Mayo into promblemzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Marc Gasol would get pindowns. Memphis GM please do the right thing or any other N.B.A. GM. Marcus Williams is a STARTER in the N.B.A. He is a more Natural Point Guard than anybody in this draft except for his cousin Jennings(TRUTH). Kenny Anderson pt 2.- He will have 3 fall victims this year and a multiple double digit assist games. GUARANTEE. So will Marcus Williams. P.S. on another note. Would someone please sign Sundiata Gaines. He’s very similar to Rodney Stuckey

  • “Big Hook” Nunez

    Above the Rim? Any movie with Tupac in it can’t be consider good or a real basketball movie. And with Chase Budinger he can be a JR Smith type, with the long range 3s off the bench. Too bad he got them alligator arms or could do some major damage dunking on folks.

  • K Dizzle

    @ the dude who posted this
    “Any movie with Tupac in it can’t be consider good or a real basketball movie”

    You, my friend, are what we know as an idiot…

  • Oscarisalakerfan

    Hey fellow dimers ne of u guys play Ufc undisputed online?

  • doc

    @Big Hook-u my sir dont know what the fuck u talking about.Thats grade a remedial ball movie knowledge right there.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    The movie had tupac, marlon waynes, the late great berny mac, my man from cool runnin, the guy from the wire etc…whats there not to like.

    And for the dude sayin the lebron hate is insane? well tell your dude to stop bein a fag all summer and people will get off him. And no way was his shot the top play at all.

  • Reno Hightower

    LeBron had Hedo on him.

  • LakeShow84

    Where the hell is the LO signing?!

    Cant he just give it up already and come back for more chips!?

    And i back Kdizz @ #23.. #22 is an idiot..

  • LakeShow84

    Ya know i’ve always liked Marcus Williams.. Kid got a knack for passing the rock.. im really surprised he still hasnt found a home..

    Shit we’ll take him.. When Fisher retires..

  • Otto

    “loser gets bunks. Loser gets crazy hard scar your mother****ing ass bunks.
    Is it a bet?”

  • “Big Hook” Nunez

    Come on guys, Tupac trying to act is like Shaq trying to rap. It just ain’t any good. Did anybody see Gridlock and Gang Related? Those were the worst movies I ever see, got them on VHS for xmas. When I say good I mean classics that I watched growing up like Hoosiers, The Fish that saved Pittsburgh and The White Shadow TV series.

  • garbageman33

    i liked marcus williams too. right up until he stole my laptop.

  • http://www.luckylester.com Lucky Lester

    What is a quince?

  • focalmatic

    Yeah seeing Avon Barksdale dropping windmills on hoops that look 9 feet tall was priceless

    Plus Tupac was arguably the best rapper turned actor I’ve ever seen and this is coming from a Biggie fan

  • sam

    please. kobe gets way more hate than lebron.

  • K Dizzle

    @ Big Hook

    Go watch Above the Rim again and tell me Pac was garbage in that role. He wasn’t the star, wasn’t even supporting, but he was convincin.

    Then go watch Poetic Justice and Juice for your own sake

  • bill

    best basketball movie : Hoosiers!

    Where is the love

  • doc

    Boy u’s a pussy.A pussy without the hair.

  • Smitty313

    Lebron is the new Kobe as far as hate goes. But his hate is mild compared to what Kobe gets. Kobe could blink his eyes and some one would say he tried to blink like Jordan or something stupid like that.