Posted by Art Garcia
LAS VEGAS — NBA Summer League began with a record number teams and finished with record attendance. Not a bad 10 days in the desert.
“We’re always coming in with some trepidation,” Summer League founder and executive director Warren LeGarie said. “We weren’t sure we were going to get the amount of teams, there was some talk that some of them were looking to go elsewhere. When it was all said and done, it was the biggest participation we’ve had.”
The even attracted 23 teams — 22 from the NBA and a D-League Select squad — for 58 games played at COX Pavilion and Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV. Final attendance numbers weren’t immediately available, but LeGarie said it outdrew last year earlier this week and the average per day was well in excess of 4,000.
First overall pick John Wall of Washington dazzled crowds and earned the MVP award. The league also showcased the majority of last month’s first-round picks, including Rookie of the Month DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento.
“It was quite a show here,” LeGarie said.
He’s already started planning for next year, hoping to continue the growth and momentum of 2010.
“Vegas really stepped up this year and they really came out to support us,” LeGarie said. “We’re always hopeful that things work out, so the dreaded lockout doesn’t affect us.”