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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

NBA Summer League shatters previous attendance record

Lottery picks show up at Summer League every year, but this year’s crop was especially notable. There was Lonzo Ball, the future of the Lakers and son of the loudest man in sports. There was the Jayson Tatum, the Paul Pierce clone whose offensive skillset has Celtics fans ogling. There was Dennis Smith Jr., the scary athletic point guard who’s foaming at the mouth to posterize NBA bigs and make eight teams regret passing him up in the draft.

These are just a few of the exciting new names that drew fans to Summer League this year. And man, did they come out.

A total of 127,843 fans attended games at the two Summer League facilities in Las Vegas. That surpasses the previous all-time high of approximately 109,000, according to theLas Vegas Review-Journal.

Ball certainly played a big part in the attendance spike. The Review-Journal called it “The Lonzo Effect.” He didn’t disappoint, earning the Summer League’s MVP award after posting averages of 16.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 9.3 assists per game. That was the highest APG average in Summer League history.

“When you have a star like Lonzo or whoever it may be next year, that’s just an added attraction,” summer league co-founder Albert Hall said, according to the Review-Journal. “He just happened to play on the Lakers. Lonzo had a good summer, but next year it will be somebody else.”

It would be shocking, however, if Lonzo were back next summer. The best young prospects are typically one-and-done when it comes to Summer League.

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