The 2014 NBA Summer League is underway in Orlando, Florida, which means we need to start overreacting to every big performance we see, right? It happens every single year — we see a rookie or a young man go off for big numbers and we instantly jump on the bandwagon, calling him the “next big thing” or whatever term is popular at the time. The fact is, aside from the top rookies, these guys don’t automatically translate these big games to the NBA’s regular season. We’re going to take a look at some historical stat leaders to show you what I mean.
First off, we have to consider the competition. When Andrew Wiggins takes it to the basket and random Joe Schmo is defending the rim, we’re probably going to see a Wiggins dunk. Then, we’ll go crazy as if Wiggins is the second-coming of LeBron James (wait, we’ve already done this). Now, let’s put a quality perimeter defender on Wiggins and let’s put Serge Ibaka in the paint. My guess…a forced shot or a turnover because Wiggins isn’t used to that level of play.
To be fair, there have been some quality performances from very good players in the Summer League. For example, Amar’e Stoudemire is the No. 3 scorer in terms of points per game, with 20.67 in the three career games that he’s played. Let’s take a look at some of the Summer League studs who didn’t turn into NBA All-Stars.