The Indiana Pacers are scheduled to have a team playing in the 2012 Orlando Pro Summer League in early July. The pro summer leagues in Orlando and Las Vegas were the first casualties of the NBA lockout last summer, leaving us NBA junkies high and dry for nearly six months.
So there's a touch of appreciation for the return of most useless games of the year that have players wearing NBA logo apparel with young talent and free agents trying to impress decision-makers enough to lock up a spot in the league. It is a place where overreaction goes to do blue collar work for a week, begging for a dunk, cross-over dribble or blocked shot to hype up a player as ready to make a big jump in the NBA. I, for one, can't wait.
The Pacers roster will include Lance Stephenson and Jeff Pendergraph along with the 26th pick in the draft (if not traded). When asked about Stephenson and Pendergraph playing summer league, Larry Bird simply replied, "Oh, they'll be there." Those players expected to be on the regular season roster will be joined by a group of free agent players playing for their shot with any team that happens to be watching.
Other teams competing in Orlando include the Magic, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons and Utah Jazz. Since it is never too early to plan, here is the Pacers schedule.
- Monday, July 9th, 5:00 p.m. ET: vs. Philadelphia
- Tuesday, July 10th, 1:00 p.m. ET: vs. Oklahoma City
- Wednesday, July 11th, 11:00 a.m. ET: vs. Boston
- Thursday, July 12th, 3:00 p.m. ET: vs. Utah
- Friday, July 13th, 2:00 p.m. ET: vs. Brooklyn