The NBA is unlike many other sports leagues in that there is plenty to follow even after the NBA Finals ends. The NBA Draft and free agency take place not long after the end of the season, but one of the biggest gatherings of NBA personnel now takes place at the Las Vegas Summer League.
While there are also leagues in Orlando and Utah, it is the Vegas league that sees the biggest turnout. It has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years as it gives fans a first look at top draftees every year. It is no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers fan base travels well to Las Vegas to support their team and with Lonzo Ball in tow many fans were on hand to watch the UCLA product perform.
Thanks in large part to Ball and the play of the other young players the Lakers were a hot commodity during their time in Vegas. According to Serena Winters of Lakers Nation six out the seven most watched Summer League games ever has the Lakers partaking in the contest:
ESPN sent out a release with their seven most-watched NBA Summer League games ever. Notice anything?
(Lakers are 6 of the 7 games). pic.twitter.com/iRuPmCyrGR
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) July 19, 2017
Not only does it show just how popular the team still is during some of their worst seasons in team history it also exemplifies the growing popularity of the tournament.
The highest rated game was between the Lakers and the Boston Celtics. It pitted Ball against the third overall pick from this year’s draft in Jayson Tatum. Although the Lakers eventually lost the game Lonzo recorded his first triple-double by posting 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. Other games included were the championship game against the Portland Trail Blazers and Lonzo’s spectacular 36-point outing against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The team was already popular but adding Ball instantly made the Lakers must-watch TV even if was only Summer League. Once the regular season begins it wouldn’t be surprising if the Lakers continued to be one of the most watched teams as everyone will be looking to see Ball face off with the likes of Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, and Russell Westbrook.