PE: Lakers stay put for summer

PE: Lakers stay put for summer

Postby JSM on Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:50 am

Press Enterprise: The Summer Pro League in Long Beach appears to be teetering; standing, it seems, only because of the Lakers' loyalty.

For 37 years, the Lakers have been entrenched in the SPL in Southern California. And they don't plan to go anywhere, which just might be enough to keep the league alive, despite the mass exodus of NBA teams.

The new trend for NBA teams has been to trek off to the Las Vegas Summer Basketball League. Sixteen NBA teams, including the Clippers, are in Las Vegas for the third-year league.

The SPL has just four NBA teams -- the Lakers, Memphis, Washington and Dallas -- which is why many wonder how much longer it can survive.

But if it's up to the Lakers, who open summer-league play at 3 p.m. today against Memphis at the Pyramid on the Long Beach State campus, the SPL will stand.

"I can't imagine why we would leave Southern California," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. "It's a chance for our fans to come watch the team play during the summer. And there's a void that we've recognized where we have rabid fans that want to see us play. And if we go someplace else, they don't get that."

Lakers fans have seen Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Michael Cooper and Andrew Bynum get their first taste of professional basketball action at the SPL.

This year, Lakers fans will get to see the teams' first-round draft pick, point guard Jordan Farmar from UCLA, last year's first-round draft pick, Bynum, and first-year Lakers Von Wafer and Devin Green.

John Younesi, the chief executive officer of the SPL, says the Lakers are the reason the league will continue no matter how much competition Las Vegas gives him.

"The fact that the Lakers are here," Younesi said, "they are the team that draws our crowds out, they're the team that everybody comes to see, it makes us a successful operation year in and year out."

The Clippers bolted to Las Vegas last summer. They were attracted to the number of NBA teams playing there.

There are no free-agent teams in Las Vegas, as there are in Long Beach, and that, Clippers general manger Elgin Baylor said, means the competition is better in Las Vegas.

"There was nothing wrong with the summer league in Long Beach," Baylor said. "We enjoyed it. But the talent level is better in Las Vegas. They have more NBA teams. A lot of the NBA players and the quality of the players, I think, are better."

The Las Vegas Summer Basketball League is the brainchild of Warren LeGarie.

The NBA was forced to sanction a 16-team in Las Vegas because so many teams were clamoring to go there.

There also is a summer league in Orlando and the Rocky Mountain Revue in Salt Lake City (both leagues have six teams).

Younesi maintains that the SPL will have four more NBA teams next summer, his reason being that the NBA will push for it, that other teams will dislike the heat in Las Vegas and the nightlife that can become a distraction.

The teams in Las Vegas play five games; the Lakers will play eight.

That could be another draw for Long Beach.

"Where would you rather be? Southern California or Las Vegas?" Kupchak asked. "Every team is different. I guess if you don't live in Los Angeles, Las Vegas is an attractive place to go for a week. We think we're in an ideal situation."
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Postby KB24 on Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:57 am

well 4 teams suck. I would rather have 6-8 teams at least. Its not really fun to see them play against eachother 2-3 times :mhihi:
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Postby JSM on Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:59 am

Here is their info sheet for the SPL

DATES: Today-July 19

NBA TEAMS: Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards

SCHEDULE: Five games per day at 10:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: Available at the Long Beach State box office, 562-985-4949 or at LongBeachState.com

Platinum season pass: $575.00 (includes VIP courtside seat)

Season seat: $120

Single day: $12

Groups tickets: $7 (groups of 20 or more)

INFORMATION: 310-348-8747 or http://www.summerproleague.com
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Postby Alleyhoops on Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:31 am

Younesi was extremely unhappy last year when the Clippers bolted, and he expressed it in the press.
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Postby nicehair911 on Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:40 am

I hope we get more teams. This thing seems like a big tradition.
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Postby lilkhmerkid4u on Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:08 am

Just wondering,

why are there 2 different single leagues? isn't this all part of the NBA? and whats the different from SPL and the LVL?
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Re: PE: Lakers stay put for summer

Postby jbiggs on Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:49 am

JSM wrote:
Press Enterprise: And there's a void that we've recognized where we have rabid fans that want to see us play. And if we go someplace else, they don't get that."



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Postby dagreatkobe on Sat Jul 08, 2006 3:24 pm

lilkhmerkid4u wrote:Just wondering,

why are there 2 different single leagues? isn't this all part of the NBA? and whats the different from SPL and the LVL?
huh?

there are like 5 summer leagues... the only difference is the number of teams playing and the location. everything else is the same. except the televised the Las Vegas league games...
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