It happened so fast. As quickly as it began, it was over.

No, I am not talking about the magical 2007-08 Lakers season; I’m talking about the 2008 NBA Summer League.

Somehow, the big wigs over at the NBA offices thought it would be a novel idea to collect nearly every Rookie and dude gunning for a roster spot in Las Vegas for a week of footloose and fancy free playing glorified pickup games. The rosters are amalgamations of marginally talented players, most of whom will never see the fourth quarter of a blowout game, let alone a NBA preseason contest.

The Lakers delegation to the Las Vegas Summer League was no exception. With the exception of Coby Karl and former San Antonio Spur James White, no other member of the roster has had any NBA experience. That fact alone could make any Laker fan cringe at the thought of sitting through 40 minute Summer League contest.

The Truth Is: A Summer League game is less arduous than one would imagine. It is like watching a reeeeeeeeally good High School team or perhaps a solid minor league squad.

Yeah, yeah, the Lakers posted the third worst record in the league at 2-4 and yeah, lunkheade former USC forward Davon Jefferson actually gained a job in this bastardized version of the NBA, all was not lost during this magical week in the desert.

The Lakers lone 2008 Draft Pick, Joe Crawford averaged a paltry 11.8 points per game (the team only averaged 79.3 points per contest), yet it is hard to deduce ANYTHING from Summer League. Crawford showed intensity and athleticism in spades. And in the Summer League, that can get a guy like Joe Crawford relatively far.

The Lakers were joined in Vegas by former UCLA center Lorenzo Mata-Real, who may earn himself a trip to Hawaii for training camp and a few ceremonial preseason games and perhaps more. Mata-Real could potentially prove to be a diamond-in-the-rough tough nosed defender in addition to another homegrown Laker hero. Born in the Los Angeles suburb of Huntington Park, Mata-Real attended South Gate High School and then UCLA where he teamed up with current Laker guard Jordan Farmar.

In addition to Mata-Real, another name to look for on the preseason roster could be former Maryland Terrapin Nik Caner- Medley. The 6’8” Caner-Medley, spent last season in Spain playing for Kalise Gran Canaria, where he won a player of the week award and led his squad in scoring.

Not to say that any Laker fan should run out and buy a Nik Caner-Medley, Lorenzo Mata-Real or Joe Crawford jersey, but it would not hurt to remember those names… just simply to follow them through their long and fruitful careers in the D-League.

  • Fantastic5LAL

    Caner Medley and Mata Real

    but get Mata Real first

  • Lakers-GetYours

    I love The Lakers Nation but some of these pieces are terribly written and in dire need of editing / rejection. Please guys, get an editor.

  • varsityoptimism

    [Comment ID #46700 Will Be Quoted Here]

    explain how?

  • BringDFishBack

    [Comment ID #46700 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I have to agree. There are some things that are terribly written with tons of errors. Then there are those pieces that just don’t deserve to be posted. This isn’t directly at the writer of this aricle, it’s happened many times. But in this instance, only like 4 players are even mentioned of the 15+ that were on the team. Not only that, but it seems like whoever wrote this didn’t watch 1 minute of a Lakers summer league game. What was said about Mata could have been written just by watching him at UCLA a couple times. All that was said about Caner-Medley was his school, height, where he was last year, and his accomplishments there. How about some analysis of the games played in the summer league? How about talking about at least 8 players?

  • varsityoptimism

    [Comment ID #46710 Will Be Quoted Here]

    i did what i was asked to do by the editors of the site.

    truth be told, there wasn’t much to write home about.

    the team played wretched basketball and i highlighted the only dudes who did anything worth talking about.

    i said it in the article… there is not much to glean from 6 crappy games in July at the Thomas & Mack Center.

    this was not supposed to be some giant expose on how much of a stud Sherrod Ford could be or how goofy Yi Li looked with his hair floppin around.

    i just gave a brief recap of the events of the summer league. if anyone wants to discuss the idiosyncrasies of Pat Calathes or Bryan Dunston, i would be more than happy to oblige…

    in closing, most of you commenters suck ass. you whine and cry and moan, yet if you were asked to have 400 word recap of the Summer League ready in an hour while on vacation, I am CERTAIN you could not come up with anything bordering on what I was able to produce with minimal effort.

    just more internet chicken sh**

  • BringDFishBack

    Trust me, I could write a much better article in an hour. If that’s a recap, then I guess I don’t know what one is. All you talked about was how summer league sucked and gave 3 names to look out for, but NOTHING about what they did in summer league. All you said was what Joe Crawford averaged, that’s it. If you are giving minimal effort, then you probably shouldn’t be writing. You want to give me an hour, a topic, and a guarentee it will get posted on here, then let me know.

    On a side note, if that’s what the “editors” gave you to write about, then it’s not entirely your fault. If there are editors, why are there so many errors in so many of the posts?

  • daboss1849

    Yea Varsity sucks ass…

  • varsityoptimism

    [Comment ID #46719 Will Be Quoted Here]
    what did you want me to say?

    lets have a discussion here.

    i want to make YOU happy.

    what were the things you wanted to see expressed in a summer league BRIEF RECAP.

  • BringDFishBack

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is directed entirely at you. Especially if you were given the topic. What would I have done? Given a 2-3 sentence recap of each game. Given a 1-2 sentence analysis of players that saw a lot of time. When I read it all I saw was your opinion of who might make the team. Not saying that is something that should never be included, but I would have liked to see more of a recap of what went down in the summer league. I mean, the best player on the team only got one mention in the entire article.

  • Tim M.

    [Comment ID #46737 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Chill BringDFishBack. It’s called Varsity’s TAKE. If I’m not mistaken, this means Varsity is giving COMMENTARY on the summer league… which I find quite amusing. You can get recaps and expert summer league analysis at from some old guy that gets paid to do just that. If you want recaps that bad, then you probably already know everything that happened. It’s the flipping summer league.

    I enjoy Varsity’s stuff. It’s a shift away from the news-driven stories that runs this site. I guess some people don’t get his rhetoric, but I’m feelin’ it.

  • BringDFishBack

    Im not sure why is so hard to get, I have no problem with what he writes or how he writes it. It all goes back to what Lakers-GetYours said. Some pieces are just terribly written and need to be edited or rejected. It has nothing to do with Varsity himself. However when Varsity asked me what I wanted to see expressed in a brief summer league recap, I answered.


    Any Tyrus Thomas fans out there? Maybe JR Smith..hmmmm,well can we get an article about guys who could make a MAJOR CONTRIBUTION to The Lakers…if they played in LA,HERE’S 1,

  • lskerfan567


  • lskerfan567



    I think they HAVE TO pull the trigger on Vlad (and Mihm,if he cooperates)and he be a Laker,plus they wanted Kobe so…IT OUR TURN and Phil coached John Paxson in Chicago and Nuthin’ beats a failure but a try.

    JR Smith on the other hand can just sign with us,I think,with no trade.

    Either way…GET SOME HELP PLEASE!!!!!!!

  • LakersFan

    Why are you guys getting mad at what BringDfishback is saying?..its his own opinion. As a writer shouldnt you take opinion from people and see how you can improve it?…dont blast me for this…just my opinion

  • BringDFishBack

    [Comment ID #46777 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Thanks man, and while what you said is true, it can be very hard to take constructive criticism. I want to again make my point clear, it has nothing to do with your writing. Of course there are going to be errors, that’s why there are editors. Sometimes a piece just isn’t fit to be published. Im not saying you or your writing sucks in general. In my opinion, this piece didn’t have anything important to pass on.


    Varsity…why would you be reading these comments if you’re on vacation, let alone arguing about it