BBL

The Fraport Skyliners Players 2018 NBA Summer League Watch Volume 7

Obviously being able to catch a glimpse of the old school and real NBA legends like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson strolling around the Thomas & Mack center and wondering what they actually and really think about many young future NBA players and what they would never disclose to the press is mind boggling, but really everyone who is in the arena is really there to watch exciting new NBA talent and good basketball. When observing the hoop talent, you really come across three types of players at the NBA Summer League. First you have the NBA lottery picks like the Deandre Ayton´s and Marvin Bagley´s who have that unending athleticism and one wonder´s at times what their mommy´s have secretly fed them for breakfast all that time. Second you have the rest of the current 2018 NBA draft picks like a Michael Porter Jr of the Denver Nuggets who for many got drafted quite late, a Moritz Wagner of the Lakers where many wonder can he already be an impact player as a rookie or a Hamidou Diallo of the well known basketball institution Kentucky who is property of the Brooklyn Nets and one of many talented players that will either make the NBA or play in the G-League. Third you have that already professional player who has gained some experience overseas, but still listed as an NBA rookie like Shavon Shields who has two years of pro ball in Europe under his belt or a Phil Goss who at age 35 could be Isaac Bonga´s dad and the oldest in the competition having played 13 professional seasons and nine in Italy having called the breathtaking city of water ways Venice home for two seasons a place that a  Trae Young probably has never visited, but could in the summer time as a tourist or a Reggie Upshaw who was a rookie in Germany and looking to make that next step perhaps in the NBA?

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The Fraport Skyliners Players 2018 NBA Summer League Watch Volume 6

Basketball has been the main topic in the last week in the Thomas & Mack center at the 2018 NBA Summer League while relaxing and regenerating one´s body on an off day and at night are what the Fraport Skyliners players and other professional players have been focusing on, but another topic of interest not only there, but in the basketball world has been the two tragic deaths of ex UCLA players Tyler Honeycutt and Billy Knight only within a few days of each other. Just how often 2018 NBA draft picks Aaron Holiday and Thomas Welsch of UCLA had to answer questions and give their feelings on the delicate topic is unknown, but it surely wasn´t a little. I was shocked and yelped No when I heard about the Tyler Honeycutt death on Saturday night and even if I didn´t personally know him had my own personal 40 minute connection with him that I will never forget dealing with him this past January when I was able to interview him before an Euroleague game in Bamberg. My memory of him were still quite present simply because it wasn´t so long ago and just his open friendliness and warm personality made my one on one chat with him very memorable. His death makes no sense, because his basketball future was bright as he had an offer from a top Euroleague team and from an NBA team to be the back up to one of the best power forwards in the league.  I was almost shocked again when I learned about the Billy Knight death, because I thought at first that I had another connection to him even if it was a very distant one and only something through stories, but was relieved when I learned that it was a different Billy Knight. Back in the 80´s, the NBA enjoyed the play of Billy Knight who played at Pittsburgh and was born in 1952 and became a legend as an Indiana Pacer finishing his career as the third leading scorer. The minimal connection I had to him was through my third grade music teacher Mr Johnson who roomed with him and told us kids bet  entertaining stories between learning how to play the recorder in the music room about the exceptional player who once averaged 28ppg in the now defunct ABA league. The Billy Knight who posted a chilling you tube video shortly before committing suicide was born in 1979 and played at UCLA and enjoyed a 14 year professional career overseas and played mostly in France and Japan. Both Honeycutt and Knight had very severe issues with themselves in their lives and just didn´t come to terms how to cope with them. These two deaths are very tragic and makes one wonder again and again in so many other cases as well why nothing is being made to change gun laws. “It is sad that the Honeycutt,and Knight family members lost a person they love dearly.I lost my nephew to gun violence,and to be honest,that pain never goes away. I just deal with I and when I get low, I pick up a basketball,and try to shoot the pain away. The same way I´m sure that Tyler Honeycutt,and Billy Knight did. .With that said,as a proud American who loves guns,and as much as I hate to say this,the time has come to change our gun laws. I sure don´t have a solution but since I´m a dumb jock I guess that´s not my job. We can´t blame UCLA for these two great basketball player´s being gone. I hope that the NCAA can use the death of these two great athletes to dig even deeper when it come´s to a mental health issue substance abuse issue,or what ever else it may be to get athlete´s help. Not just for the year´s that a basketball player is eligible, but for the rest of their lives”, stated Joe Asberry who balled in Europe in the 90s and now is helping young Americans make a better transition to overseas life.

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The Fraport Skyliners Players 2018 NBA Summer League Watch Volume 5

In the last few days in Las Vegas, nothing was out of the ordinary except for in Paris where people were going crazy after their Les Bleues reached the 2018 World Cup, but in the city where gambling is a way of life all was normal as the city remained a sizzling hot stove in the desert with the slot machines in full swing being operated mostly by tourists, the hotel pools packed with guests looking for a major cool down and in the Thomas & Mack center, fans witnessed nonending basketball action with 15 games being played and packed action as many of the NBA future stars were at work and didn´t disappoint anyone. As usual Fraport Skyliners past and maybe present as some are still hoping that Philip Scrubb and Tai Webster might return back to Frankfurt as the Skyliners budget was suddenly heightened with the money from the Bonga Lakers signing, but latest reports have speculated that this won´t be the case, but dreaming to keep that Skyliners chemistry is always possible. Also other Germans were in action like Moritz Wagner while ex Artland Dragon big man Isaiah Hartenstein sat out the 104-90 win by the Houston Rockets over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday due to an injury in his right hand, but it was nothing serious.

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The Fraport Skyliners Players 2018 Summer League Watch Volume 4

While all of the football world had an off day on Sunday from the World Cup and were already making early predictions who will be crowned 2018 champion and if England can go all the way and win again after beating Germany in 1966 and wondering if they will continue their sudden surprising penalty kick mastery if needed, but in Las Vegas, there was no day off as the 2018 NBA Summer League continued with day three. 10 teams played including three Fraport Skyliners as well as Germans Moritz Wagner and Isaiah Hartenstein. Even if basketball is the number one priority for all the basketball players, one can´t neglect talking about the smoking heat in Las Vegas that is something that is always present in the dog days of summer. After his first post game interview after the 96-79 win against the Philadelphia 76ers, Isaac Bonga who has a pretty good English for an 18 year old German, but will get even  better with time with more repetition was asked about how he communicates with German teammate Moritz Wagner. Bonga who is two years his junior commented with saying just a little German, because Wagner who has been playing in the states since 2015 with Michigan(NCAA) has already adapted that English basketball language which is only normal. So concerning the radical heat something Bonga isn´t used to since Germany is a lot cooler, he could have pranked his teammate if he knew how warm it would be on Sunday and replied “it´s going to be 49 degrees. A shocked Wagner might have replied with what 49 degrees? Is it going to snow now”? Bonga might have answered with not 49 degrees Celsius which the two German teammates might communicate with in German, but he would have said “49 degrees Fahrenheit. That is how extreme the weather Sunday was and with what players had to deal with, but when the main theme is basketball and the main goal is trying to impress NBA teams, being able to block out the intense heat is not an option, but mandatory. One player who is living his own basketball dream in Germany and knows something of heat after growing up in Florida and battling brutal humidy in the summer is Orlando Parker. He went from the Regionaliga with Baskets Vilsbiburg to the German Pro A in three seasons and has become a solid Pro A player with PS Karlsruhe. He remembers his first encounter against Bonga in 2016 as he watched the German score 6 points in his Pro B debut helping the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to a tough 61-56 grind out win on the road. “When I played against him I knew nothing about him besides his size and potential. But I definitely could see a player who has the skills and versatility to be good player at the next level. He impacted the game with his size and ability to handle the ball, which was amazing to watch for someone so young. If the Lakers work with him and believe in his potential the way Frankfurt believed. Then the sky is the limit for the kid. I wish him the best”, warned PS Karlsruhe forward Orlando Parker.

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The Fraport Skyliners Players 2018 NBA Summer League Watch Volume 3

With the Utah and Sacramento NBA Summer Leagues history, teams and players now have traded the mountains of Salt Lake City and the old town of Sacramento while not on the court for the Thomas & Mack center and glitz of the always happening and wide awake Las Vegas. On Friday the 2018 easyCredit BBL scoring sniper Philip Scrubb had his first action in 2018 with the Washington Wizards after having made his debut back in 2015 in Orlando with the Memphis Grizzlies where he played 5 games averaging 2.2ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 20.0% and in Las Vegas with the Toronto Raptors where he played 4 games averaging  5.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.0apg. The ex Carleton stand out who won 7 titles there and won the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup with the Fraport Skyliners came from the bench as the Washington Wizards went mostly with their starters who averaged 28 minutes in the 72-59 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Some of the more known players this summer for Washington are guys like Aaron Harrison, and Thomas Bryant. Scrubb logged 13 minutes and apparently isn´t quite used to the rims in the Thomas & Mack center still searching for the feel and touch as he went 0/4 from the field and 0/3 from outside as his usually very feared three pointer is still looking to drop. He also hauled down four rebounds and coughed up the ball three times. Scrubb next plays on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs.

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Isaac Bonga Starts Basketball Cinderella Story Signing With The Los Angeles Lakers

Where the private thoughts of Isaac Bonga were in the last days concerning his future with the Los Angeles Lakers must have been very intense, because if he hasn’t noticed yet that he is living the ultimate Cinderella basketball story then at least his famiy and closest friends and agency Wasserman must have reminded him just how lucky he was. Working out for the Los Angeles Lakers and getting advice from the legend and possibily one of the best point guards to ever play Magic Johnson would get any basketball player on earth jealous, but finding out he could be practicing with the best player on earth and maybe being NBA teammates in the future with Lebron James and learning from Mr triple double Rajon Rondo is something he never would have imagined only a little bit of a month ago. There he was horsing around and having fun with his teammates of the Fraport Skyliners like Quantez Robertson and Mike Morrsion and posing with fans at the official Fraport Skyliners farewell party. In only a short time he has gone from boy to seemingly man as now his ultimate basketball experience is starting with the Los Angeles Lakers. This reality was confirmed yesterday as all this was not a dream as the German 18 year old wonder boy was given a three year deal according to numerous media reports.

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The Fraport Skyliners Players 2018 NBA Summer League Watch Volume 2

After an off day on Wednesday at the NBA Summer League, play resumed on thursday with four games. One Fraport Skyliner was in action again with Tai Webster with the Miami Heat. Webster who had played his first game this summer on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers played 21 minutes in the 89-74 victory. He scored three points, hauled down 2 rebounds and dished out 4 assists and had a steal. The only negative stat was his 1/12 shooting day from the field. However in his third game in Sacramento against the Sacramento Kings, he only mustered four minutes in a 86-76 victory. The native New Zealander who had a solid rookie season with the Fraport Skyliners did as much as he only could in four minutes of play. In a style in the NBA Summer League where each player is playing for his own stats trying to impress the swarm of NBA general managers and coaches, Webster got up a shot and made a big play on the defensive end coming up with a steal.

Webster´s big competition Derrick Walton Jr out of Michigan who played sparingly last season with Miami seeing action in only 16 games and played most of the season with the Sioux Falls Skyforce (NBA G League) playing 27 games and averaging 16.1ppg, 4.0rpg, 7.0apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 90.2% saw increased action in this game as he logged 27 minutes. He put up 10 points on 3/7 shooting, grabbed two rebounds and dished out seven assists and made a steal on the defensive end. He gave a pretty solid performance as he is trying to become more of a role player in the Miami Heat organization this season. Webster has stiff competition and has to fight for minutes and just do the best he can in the minutes he gets and be as efficient as possible.The Miami Heat didn´t get any huge games from one player, but shared the ball nicely showcasing five players in double figures led by Derrick Jones Jr with 19 points. Bam Adebayo followed with 14 points while Duncan Robinson of Michigan(NCAA) contributed 12 points and big man Yante Maten of Georgia(NCAA) was efficient in 13 minutes contributing 10 points and eight boards. Today should see the 2018 NBA Summer League debut of ex Charleton(CIS) stand out Philip Scrubb with the Washington Wizards as they face off against the Cleveland Cavaliars as well as another German Isaiah Hartenstein who suits up in his first game this summer with the Houston Rockets against the Indiana Pacers. Hartenstein is still unsigned and will be looking to impress in Las Vegas to earn that NBA contract.