The NBA Summer League is a competition organized during the off-season, by the National Basketball Association (NBA). Instead of their regular season line-ups, the NBA teams try out different summer rosters, including rookie, sophomore and G League players during the summer league. It is also known as the Las Vegas Summer League. There’s also the Utah Jazz Summer League, Orlando Pro Summer League that features the NBA teams. It’s a 10-day event where all teams play 5 games each, with a total of 75 games played. In the final championship game, the two teams with the best records meet. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league couldn't take place last offseason. This year it’ll take place from August 8th till August 17th. MGM Resorts is sponsoring the event, and it will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center and COX Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
NBA Summer League History
Although it’s been decades that Summer leagues have existed, historically, there wasn’t any organized structure. The leagues would sometimes overlap and not be officially coordinated. The Orlando Pro Summer League took place from 2002 to 2017, except 2005 and 2011. Due to the trend of NBA teams participating in the Las Vegas league, the league ended after 2017.
The Las Vegas Summer League was held for the first time in 2004. Then in 2007, the NBA rebranded it as the ‘NBA summer league’. The league expanded to 22 teams in 2008, and EA Sports sponsored it. As of the summer 2015 season, Samsung is the official sponsor. Since 2018, the Las Vegas Summer League has taken place in the typical tournament format with all NBA teams. And as of 2019, it is by far the largest league, with 32 teams participating.
The Rocky Mountain Revue, an event held from 1984 to 2008, due to declining participation, went on a lengthy hiatus. However, it was revived for 2015 with a smaller number of teams participating and called the Utah Jazz Summer League. Then in 2019 some changes in the event were announced, rebranding its name as Salt Lake City Summer League, with a new logo, as well as a new court design.
The Sacramento Kings confirmed that their own Summer League event on May 14, 2018, titled the California Classic Summer League, would take place from July 2 to 5, 2018. This league would replace the Orlando Pro Summer League.
The league’s games only last 40 minutes unlike the regulation NBA games which are 48 minutes long. They also consist of multiple 5-minute overtime periods. Free agents who are unsigned are often signed to summer league deals, which later provides them a chance to possibly be signed by any team during the regular season.
NBA Summer League 2021 Teams
Las Vegas Summer League
New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers
Salt Lake City Summer League
Utah Jazz Blue
Utah Jazz White
San Antonio Spurs
California Classic Summer League
Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors
NBA Summer League 2021 Tickets
Tickets went on sale on June 23rd, 2021. The different types of tickets and their price are as follows -
General Admission - $40+ fees. General admission access to all the games for the date purchased.
Reserved Seating - $140 per ticket + fees. Reserved Seating for all games in Thomas & Mack Center and General Admission access in Cox Pavilion for the date purchased.
Season Ticket - $350 per ticket + fees. General Admission access to all 10 days of Summer League.
Michelob Ultra Courtside - $250 per ticket + fees. Premium lounge and viewing area located in a private section at Thomas and Mack that includes 2 drink tickets (beer, soft drinks) and select stadium food offerings.
Tickets can be bought here.
How to watch the NBA Summer League 2021?
Apart from local USA TV channels, fans can catch the game on nba.com/watch with a login. Here are some of the other platforms fans can choose from -
Hulu with Live TV
AT&T TV Now
WatchESPN or the ESPN app