Bring back the Long Beach Summer Pro League.

It’s sad whats happened to the Summer Pro League held every summer in Cal State Long Beach. This was the place to be every year to see the newly drafted NBA players play their first games. Past players in the SPL included such NBA superstars as Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, Amare Stoudemire, Andrew Bynum and many more. Though I’m not old enough, I heard even NBA legends like Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas even played there before. What’s sad is that the SPL is no longer there, because last year the Lakers who played there for 37 seasons left for the more popular NBA Las Vegas summer league. The Las Vegas summer league has taken away the NBA teams including the Lakers and Clippers, they have 21 teams that’s almost the whole league. For the last couple of years, the SPL which had many NBA teams in the past come, slowly was reduced to four teams then to two teams only. Until finally last year, after the Lakers left the SPL, they had no NBA teams. This year SPL’s website is gone as well, and i’m guessing that there will be no SPL again. How could the NBA just let this happen? Doesn’t history mean anything to them!!!! A lot of people do not have enough money to afford NBA tickets to watch games so they go to the Summer Pro League. At the Summer Pro League, poor people actually have the chance to sit in the front rows, looking up close at the players, an opportunity most people will never be able to have in their lives. People finally got the chance to be like Jack Nicholson for a couple of minutes. People might see a young player like Carmelo Anthony for example, up close and say that they did see him up close and have memories about it, because they will never see Anthony up close again unless they watch a television screen, because he is now famous. Another sad part about this, is that if you actually went to the Summer Pro League and saw the people coming, you would see so many little kids coming. Future NBA fans. You see so many dads and sons together coming, and with the SPL closing you ruin that. The saddest part about the SPL closing down, is that the people that come to watch the SPL are usually die-hard NBA fans because they know that the are watching low-grade players playing, new drafted NBA rookies. Players that will become future D-leaguers.  Players that will never make an NBA roster playing and yet these fans still come out and cheer. We don’t even need so many teams like Las Vegas has, we can be like Utah’s Rocky Mountain Revenue and have a few teams come. Or I was thinking, maybe we can schedule the games later on in the summer, so teams will come to the SPL. Please bring back the SPL!!! If you’re listening, Gino Kwok, Lakers, Jerry Buss, Mitch Kupchak, Magic Johnson, David Stern anybody. Please comment, if you understand what I’m saying in hopes of maybe somebody important reading this, who might do something about it.

Created by Oscar Yea.

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~ by Travis on June 29, 2008.

16 Responses to “Bring back the Long Beach Summer Pro League.”

  1. although I’m sad to see the league leave los angeles for most of the reasons you identified, I’m glad its been stripped from its former owners as they didn’t get the potential they had in their fingertips. this probably comes across as the perspective of a bitter former employer and its true, but they had no vision or at least made so many critical moves a decade with the presence of so many young stars including bryant, dfish, j o’neal, international teams, etc.

  2. Hey I am a big fan of your article as well as a big NBA fan and long time attendee at the long beach SPL Keep up the good fight and maybe someday we will see summer basketball back in SoCal. Thanks Josh

  3. I was in Long Beach in ’04 for the Swim Trials and stumbled upon the SPL. I had a great time there (although D. Rodman never showed up for his game). It’s sad that that league is no longer around.

  4. I saw Wizard’s Andre Blatche torch the Mavs summer team for 34 points in the SPL three years ago. In addition, I also saw a professional bball team from the Philippines (PBA’s Talk n’ Text) destroy a semi-pro team from L.A. It was a night I won’t forget. Bring back SPL!!!

  5. I was fortunate enough to see Bynum and Turiaff at the SPL a couple of years back. It was the only chance for blue-collar fans to get that up close to the stars without having to shell out $2,500 for courtside seats. It also gave me a chance to turn my son on to this sport… Enough of the politics; basketball is just a sport — so let them play!

  6. My kids and I used to go regularly to the SPL and it was always a lot of fun and great to see some of the future stars and top college players up close in a small arena. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house and the games were often real competitive. All sorts of people would be there from famous to not, everything was real informal and we were very sorry to see it disappear! Wish it would come back!!

  7. Take a look at the NBA.com website and you will see why the LB Summer League is dead. This is what the NBA wanted. The LBSL never got the play on the NBA site that the LVSL is.

    The NBA has been wanting to put a team in LV for a couple of years now and they are taking every opportunity to play basketball there. Where did all the Olympic trials and training camp take place last year? Where is the camp this year? All in Las Vegas. This is a concerted effort to show there is enough interest in NBA basketball that it is worth it for someone to put up the massive bucks to start a new franchise.

    I really hate that the LBSL is gone and I fear this is a permanent thing. Or at least until there is a pro team in LV.

  8. It’s just more of the same.Look at the Lakers playoffs.The people in the stands probably aren’t even actuall fans but special people who can get the top $ seats!That’s how it works these days and the SPL is just another victim.
    I don’t see why it couldn’t continue as it did in 2007 with no NBA sponsorship but assorted veterans and undrafted but potential players.I didn’t make it last year but I was going to attend this year.Penny was there along with some others.Nike was in the mix so I thought all was well till I couldn’t find the website and found this article instead. Sad day!!

  9. i saw jordan farmar as a rookie here and excited first spl game and he dunked it and i got the video and its on you tube and its was awesome… the spl was awesome… im going on the 18 to the vegas summer leauge but im paying 20 dollars for bad seats when i pain 6 for front row… spl was great

  10. I always watch the summer league in Long Beach every year, but sad to say they don’t have it there anymore. With the gas price at all time high, how can ordinary people drive to Las Vegas just to watch the summer league. It’s all about money, they don’t care about us. Las Vegas can offer more than Long Beach.

  11. Agreed, bring it back.

    I never got the chance to watch it myself, but given the opportunity now, I’d most definitely take advantage.

  12. I loved the SPL. My boys and I used to go every year. In fact, I was lucky to watch Kobe there his first year. The great thing about it is the intimacy. You can’t get up close and personal with NBA players like you could there. I hope they bring it back someday.

  13. What??? No more SPL? I remember going to them in the late 90’s. My very first time was in summer of 97 when I got to see Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher play fresh right out of their rookie season. I even got to meet Cedric Ceballos and a few of the LA Sparks. I had stopped going because I always forgot about it. But now that I have a 5 year old son, I was looking forward to taking him to watch the games and was planning on making it a summer tradition. I am saddened that it no longer exists. PLEASE BRING IT BACK! Regular season tickets are so expensive and this is the only affordable way for basketball fans to see their favorite players up close and personal. Leave it to corporate greed to take away something that’s priceless from the common people. =(

  14. With Stern and the NBA, it is all about money and national market. It matters not about the local fans. I really enjoyed attending the SPL. Frankly it was a bargain. Now the NBA has priced itself out of the local entertainment market. So long as I have TV and TIVO, it will be fine if I never set foot in an NBA arena.

  15. Sadly to say…….it’s been another year gone by and NO Summer Pro League anywhere to be found in all of Southern California! It’s high time that the underwriters of the fabled LA Olympics, and NOT a Jerry Buss, nor Donald Sterling, renovate, update, and bring the L.A. Expo park arenas into the 21st century. Just think real basketball, volleyball, indoor track and field being played, boxing and other sports happening in the Sports Arena; real football, soccer being played in the Coliseum. C’mon Villaraigosa, just think of the incredible tax and direct revenue from those upgraded facilities being used……not to mention many other venues throughout the city. Only takes true vision, and love of people, ALL people in our diverse communities! ’nuff said!

  16. I loved the summer pro league! I met magic, tex winter, elgin baylor, derek fisher, dennis johnson, mitch kupchack, mark madson, bo outlaw, andrew bynum, jordan farmar, and countless others. Also, baron davis and devean george snubbed me on autographs at the pyramid.

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