The NBA may not have an official team in Nevada… yet. Nevertheless, basketball fans can enjoy a summertime spectacle only Las Vegas can offer with the NBA Summer League.
What is NBA Summer League?
NBA Summer League is the Association’s marquee summer event, taking place in July following the NBA Draft.
The action features all the game’s brightest young stars, with rosters comprised of newly drafted rookie players and other fresh faces looking to make their mark. It is essentially a developmental tournament to give younger players some off-season competition and an opportunity to showcase their skills.
All 30 NBA teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, participate in the Las Vegas Summer League with 75 games being played across the 11 days.
Where is NBA Summer League?
The NBA originally split Summer League between multiple locations, but now Las Vegas is the only home for all the games.
The event takes place over the course of several days at the Thomas & Mack Center, which is a multi-purpose arena primarily used by UNLV.
Some games may also take place at the Cox Pavilion, a secondary venue attached to the Thomas & Mack Center.
Both the Thomas & Mack Center as well as Cox Pavilion are fully functional venues that have plentiful food and beverage options.
When is NBA Summer League?
This year the Las Vegas Summer League takes place between July 7 and July 17, a time of year when the weather is hot and the pool parties during your visit are even hotter.
It is a perfect way to start your summer off with a total bang.
How Do I Get Tickets to the Las Vegas Summer League?
Tickets for NBA Summer League in Las Vegas are already up for sale on the official NBA website.
While general admission tickets to the Thomas & Mack Center are available, you can also buy premium packages that offer unparalleled access to the event.
These Official NBA Experience Packages give you VIP treatment, both on and off the court during the July festivities.
Some of the exclusive amenities provided, depending on which particular package is purchased include access to the NBA EXP Lounge, on-court shootarounds with NBA legends, entry to the NBA Experience pool party and tip-off party, behind-the-scenes tours, and even meet and greets with some of the star rookie players.
Of course, you also get to enjoy watching a ton of high-octane basketball featuring the next generation of NBA greats.
Have Any Star Players Participated in NBA Summer League?
A multitude of NBA stars kickstarted their careers with Summer League exposure as team executives and fans inhale the excitement from game to game.
Players like Damian Lillard, Blake Griffin, and John Wall took home MVP honors early in the event’s Las Vegas tenure.
More recently, Sacramento Kings players Keegan Murray and Davion Mitchell won MVP across the past two years.
It also gives fans a chance to watch international prospects up close for the first time.
Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic is one of the few unfortunate omissions who never played in NBA Summer League due to contract issues, but Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic burst onto the scene with dominant performances at the event.
Are There Any Other NBA Events Happening in Las Vegas?
For the first time ever, the NBA will also be hosting NBA Con at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from July 7 to July 9, purposely coinciding with the Summer League action.
NBA Con is self-described as “the most culturally relevant basketball experience on the planet” featuring something for fans from all of the NBA teams. Appearances will include a multitude NBA players, ranging from Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabaar to current stars like Trae Young and Tyrese Haliburton.
Upcoming NBA prospects Victor Webanyama and Scoot Henderson will also be a part of the Vegas event. Webanyama is the consensus first-overall pick while Henderson is expected to go shortly after.
Some other attractions include:
- The latest trends in NBA fashion and sneakers, including exclusive drops of limited-edition apparel and accessories.
- Live performances from chart-topping artists who have a particular penchant for basketball.
- Live podcasts and conversations featuring athletes, creators, and media personalities to discuss a range of topics related to NBA culture and to break news that fans at NBA Con will hear first.
- The Park, a basketball-centric exhibition with various courts where people can shoot around, play in a pick-up game, watch open practices, or participate in open runs.
Tickets for the event are now available on the NBA Con website.
What Are You Waiting For?
If you are a die-hard basketball fan, consider this your sign to jump into the fun.
NBA Summer League, alongside NBA Con, is a wholly unique experience designed to send fans into a hoops euphoria.
On top of that, you also get to visit Vegas, which is always the right call.
See you on the hardcourt!