Now that NBA summer league has concluded, the winter of NBA activity has arrived. Even with the regular season starting earlier than usual this fall, the opening tip isn’t for another 88 days.
Separate isn’t always better when there are feelings involved.
Fortunately, there is more than enough quality hoops action this summer to hold fans over until NBA training camps open. Check out these outlets in order to satisfy your fix:
Regular season in progress; playoffs begin Sept. 6
The action in Las Vegas ended just in time for the WNBA All-Star Game to take center stage in Seattle on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC). Headliners for the contest include Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (who is on pace to set the WNBA all-time career assists record), Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi (the new WNBA career leading scorer), and New York Liberty center Tina Charles.
The 2016 WNBA Finals came down to the last shot in Game 5, with the Los Angeles Sparks defeating the Minnesota Lynx. Those two teams are at the top of the league again in 2017.
In progress; Leagues continue through August
There’s a pro-am (professional-amateur) basketball league in about half of the states in the nation. The leagues vary in intensity and style of play — some, such as Dyckman (New York), Hoops in the Sun (New York), and Venice Basketball League (Los Angeles), are played outdoors. And there’s always a chance you’ll catch an NBA player working on his game, such as when Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond dropped by at the Drew League in Los Angeles.
There are restrictions on how these leagues are streamed and broadcast, but the next big hoops highlight usually comes from one of these high-profile matchups. Keep an eye on when the Drew League hosts Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford and his Seattle pro-am — re-branded as “The Crawsover” — in Los Angeles on Aug. 2.
The Basketball Tournament
Championship game: Aug. 3 (on ESPN)
This is the fourth summer of The Basketball Tournament, or TBT, and this weekend is the event’s Sweet 16. By Sunday night, there will be only four teams left to vie for a winner-takes-all prize of $2 million. The rest of the games will be broadcast on ESPN networks, with the championship set for Aug. 3 in Baltimore (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The team to watch is Overseas Elite, which is going for a three-peat with a roster that includes former NBA big man DeJuan Blair and Errick McCollum, the older brother of Portland Trail Blazers guard…