For those who have never been, the Las Vegas Summer League is a basketball junkie's crack house. Wall-to-wall hoops in a casual environment. You will see agents, front office people, retired players, media stars, all the top international hoops people and fans hanging out eating bad hot dogs and watching bad basketball.

Yes, the basketball is horrible. These are teams thrown together with just a few days practice and comprised of a couple of top prospects on each squad and then a bunch of guys hoping for a camp invite but mostly destined for the D-League or China.

BUT, you do get to see your team's rookies for the first time and in the case of the Phoenix Suns, we'll see Markeiff Morris in a situation he should dominate.

I'll be there the entire week with a bunch of other SB Nation writers (we're renting a house!). If you drive up, holler.

Here's the schedule for the Phoenix Suns 2012 Las Vegas Summer League which includes the New Orleans Hornets which means, Anthony Davis!:

2012 NBA Summer League Game Schedule (All Times listed are PACIFIC):

Sunday July 15

COX Pavilion

1 PM - New York vs. Phoenix

Tuesday July 17

Thomas & Mack

5:30 PM - Cleveland vs. Phoenix

Wednesday July 18

Thomas & Mack

5:30 PM - New Orleans vs. Phoenix

Friday July 20

COX Pavilion

7 PM - NBA D-League vs. Phoenix

Saturday July 21

COX Pavilion

7 PM - Memphis vs. Phoenix

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE


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David Stern wasn't all smiles today.

NBA Commissioner David Stern had a testy, uncomfortable exchange with Jim Rome of CBS Sports in a radio interview today. On the topic of last month's NBA draft lottery, Rome asked this pointed question of Stern:

"New Orleans won the draft lottery, which of course produced the usual round of speculation that the lottery was fixed. I know that you appreciate a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy. Was the fix in for the lottery?"

(Deadspin has the audio here.)

Stern's response: "I have two answers for that. I'll give you the easy one: no."

He had the opportunity at that point to list all the reasons the lottery conspiracy theories are asinine, since it was essentially a softball question from Rome, but instead Stern lost his cool and chose to attack Rome personally.

He continued, "and a statement: shame on you for asking."

More after the jump.

Rome replied: "I know you think it's ridiculous, but I don't think the question is ridiculous because I know people think that."

It's hard to disagree there; the day after the draft lottery, the "it was fixed" was all over the interwebs on blogs such as this one. There's a good percentage of NBA fans who sincerely believe the lottery was fixed to give the #1 pick (and prized prospect Anthony Davis) to the still league-owned New Orleans Hornets, or who at least think the possibility exists that it was fixed.

Stern then dropped the ultimate stink bomb: "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" Of course, Stern was implying that Rome's question was loaded (it wasn't) but to some listeners I'm sure it came across that Stern was literally accusing Rome of domestic abuse.

The rest of the interview was a bit of a wash because they both took umbrage at perceived insults from the other. Here's the difference: Rome is a radio talk show host known for stirring the pot. For those of us old enough to remember, he burst on to the national scene with this childish insult of former NFL QB Jim Everett. Stage hands prevented Everett from rearranging Rome's face but, if any publicity is good publicity, the antics probably helped Rome's career.


If you go on Rome's show to be interviewed, it seems reasonable to expect that he's going to try to needle and probe and ask questions to provoke a strong response. Stern made two mistakes: one, he lost his cool and came across as the childish, graceless one of the two. Not an easy task when compared to Rome, and unbecoming of an executive.

More importantly, while Stern might have thought the question of whether the lottery was fixed was beneath him and not worthy of a response, Rome was correct in saying that it's a prevalent belief among a large slice of his league's fanbase.

As for Rome, the question was either a softball or just plain silly. How did he expect Stern to reply? Did he think there was any chance at all Stern would cop to any wrongdoing? Of course he wasn't going to. More likely, I think he was attempting to give Stern the chance to emphatically denounce any suggestion of a fixed lottery. Instead, Stern got into a pissing match with an interviewer who thrives on such things.

Is it possible that Stern's public relations skills are continuing to get even worse as he ages?


Melo's defensive presence is Fab.

Looks like the Suns are covering their bases, bringing in guys today who are projected as late first-rounders and summer camp invitees. Media is not allowed at pre-draft workouts this year, so we have no insight from Suns folks or the players on their workouts.

Paul Coro, Suns beat reporter for the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, just tweeted:

Coro-tweets_medium

That's all we get, and I guess we should be happy about that. According to draftexpress.com, these guys rate as:

  • C Fab Melo -- 23rd-best prospect (7'0" defensive specialist and shot blocker at Syracuse, rising after great draft combine)
  • PF Andrew Nicholson -- 30th best (6'9" offensive force with defensive questions from tiny school, also rising after great combine)
  • plus 4 guys ranked 84th and lower; pure summer league guys: PG Zack Rosen, PG Ashton Gibbs, SG Alex Young, SG Chris Johnson
Does the workout with Fab Melo indicate that the Suns are thinking of going big with the #13 pick instead of a shooting guard? Very doubtful. More likely they are evaluating options in case they get another pick or otherwise move down in the draft.

I have been looking forward to hearing low-first names, hoping that the Suns will take Babby's comments to heart that they want to build through the draft. It would be very nice to see the Suns bring in more than one player from this draft.

Interesting is that Melo was the only C brought in, and Nicholson the only PF. So, did they defend each other? Or were they just individual workouts/interviews? Or, were there other players in the arena today not also mentioned?

Who knows. The Suns are not opening workouts to media this year, for the first time ever.


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