13) I was at the AAU game in Las Vegas last night, pitting the SC Supreme against the Big Ballers in a pool play game. The place was ridiculously crowded, so crowded that the game was almost cancelled due to concerns about crowding from the fire marshal.
First of all, this is a very organized, well-run event; seven games going on at all times under one roof in the Cashman Center, with bleachers and a good concession stand, but a lot more people than usual showed up to watch last night.
They put out boxscores for these games, which is great. Lot of work goes into doing a good job of running a tournament like this.
12) Most people I listened to before the game thought SC Supreme, featuring top recruit Zion Williamson, would dispose of LaVar Ball’s team easily, but the Ballers played their hearts out and didn’t get blown out, losing 104-92 in a raggedy game.
11) “Unreal. Never seen anything like it,” Kansas coach Bill Self, who was at the game, told ESPN.
10) Supposedly, Lebron James came to the Cashman Center for the game, but didn’t come in when he was told about the crowd concerns. Four or five other NBA players were at the game.
9) OK, so you know I love boxscores; here are some stats from this game:
— SC Supreme was 0-2 on the arc in this game; Ballers were 15-46. Wow
— LaMelo Ball scored 36 points; was 7-15 inside the arc, 3-12 outside the arc, 13-16 on the line. He is a good passer, but is more of a shoot-first guy than his older brother Lonzo, who was also at this game.
— Zion Williamson, one of the best high school players in the country, scored 31 points in 31:00, but was only 7-20 on the foul line- his teammates were 25-34.
— SC Supreme shot 57.1% from the floor, were 32-54 on the foul line.
— Ballers’ five subs who played took a total of two shots in 34:00 played.
8) LaVar Ball has become semi-famous for his promotional skills; he seems to crave attention, but during the game, he was quiet, sitting with this ankles crossed watching the game. He did get a technical foul in the second half.
As for the Ballers’ defense, I’ll say this: they rebounded and went after loose balls with great abandon— they trapped the ball a lot but other than that, SC Supreme got a lot of layups.
7) Underrated weird event of the evening: Guy who was coaching the SC Supreme team was roaming the sidelines while holding his young son (looked about 2 years old) with his left arm the entire first half. Kid looked like he was asleep with his head on his dad’s left shoulder.
6) I saw four games Wednesday; best of the four was Compton Magic beating Iowa Barnstormers 73-62; Compton shot 69% from the floor in the second half, pulling away late after blowing a double-digit lead earlier in the game.
5) So these end-of-summer national AAU events are fun to watch; talented kids from all over the country playing each other and trying to earn college scholarships. Good stuff.
Elsewhere in the world……..
4) Michael Vick wants to become a football coach, is an intern for the KC Chiefs this summer. Plaxico Burress is a coaching intern with the Arizona Cardinals.
3) If you’ve seen the TV show Billions on Showtime, the guy who plays pizzeria owner Bruno was a decorated police officer in real life, a “gold-star” officer, so that is pretty cool.
2) The A’s have to demote closer Santiago Casilla; he is awful. Oakland led 2-0 in 9th inning last night, Casilla faced three batters, all of whom scored. I’m grateful I wasn’t around a TV to see it.
1) Trailblazers saved $60M in salary/luxury tax by trading Allen Crabbe to the Nets.