Print RSS Feeds Insider Magic Texts's Dan Savage and Josh Cohen recap and analyze Day Five of the 2010 AirTran Airways Pro Summer League. Scoop Archive

By Josh Cohen

Game 1: The Oklahoma City Thunder have set a very important example for other teams around the league. Their philosophy is: Send some of your central young players to Summer League and results will improve during the NBA’s regular season.

The Thunder completed a successful week at the 2010 AirTran Airways Pro Summer League on Friday – rolling past the Indiana Pacers, 77-73, and finishing 4-1.

Game 2: The Utah Jazz must be very optimistic after a tremendous finish at the 2010 AirTran Airways Pro Summer League.

After a dominant victory over the New Jersey Nets on Thursday, the Jazz followed with another supreme effort on Friday – crushing the Philadelphia 76ers, 85-56, to finish the week 3-2.

Game 3: The New Jersey Nets were patiently waiting for a monster performance from their highly-touted No. 3 draft pick.

And on the final day of the 2010 AirTran Airways Pro Summer League, they got it.

Game 4: Paul Davis enjoyed a monster 24-point, eight-rebound performance as the Magic earned their first victory at Summer League with an 80-77 victory over the Bobcats. Stanley Robinson contributed with a double-double.
By Dan Savage

There’s nothing better at the end of each Summer League than the debate that subsequently occurs about who should make the All Summer League roster. Check that, the all-you-can-eat buffet is better, but you get the point.

So with that being said, here’s the official Savage & Cohen All AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League squad:

First Team
James Harden, Oklahoma City
Gerald Henderson, Charlotte
Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia
Damion James, New Jersey
Derrick Brown, Charlotte

Second Team
Terrence Williams, New Jersey
Luke Harangody, Boston
Byron Mullens, Oklahoma City
Eric Maynor, Oklahoma City
Jodie Meeks, Philadelphia

Third Team
Patrick Ewing Jr., Orlando
Magnum Rolle, Indiana
Kosta Koufos, Utah
Paul George, Indiana
Kyle Weaver, Oklahoma City

While we are dead-set on this roster, there are some detractors. The PR staff chose this squad, while Glass Half Full picked this one.

Help us decide this debate by voting on the poll to the bottom right on which list you think is best.
By Josh Cohen

I have watched countless sporting events at the high school, college and professional level during my relatively young career. I have witnessed many memorable games. I have seen innumerable breathtaking individual performances. I have viewed an incalculable number of press conferences and player interviews.

But what transpired on Thursday night was beyond imaginable. The anticipation awaiting LeBron James’ decision on national television was so suspenseful that at times I thought it was possible they were going to cancel the final game of Summer League that night so that everyone can observe this unprecedented announcement.

Some may say James’ choice to publicize his preference to leave Cleveland for Miami was exceedingly self-promotional.

But, the purpose of pro sports is to entertain and amaze. Irrespective of your opinion of whether he made the “right” decision to sign with the Heat, James did exactly what we all want athletes to do – amuse us, entertain us and shock us.

It’s arguable that James set a bad example for kids who adore and admire him by informing the public before his former team, the Cavaliers, about his decision to head to South Beach. It’s also obvious that James revealed his choice to one too many friends prior to his announcement as ESPN was reporting throughout the day that he had decided on Miami.

But solely from an “entertainment” standpoint, James did what sports superstars need to do. He helped us forget about world problems (ex. Oil spill, economic issues, health care, etc.) and diverted us to something pragmatically “insignificant.”
By Josh Cohen

It may not be as distinguished as claiming NBA regular season MVP honors or, collectively, as rewarding as capturing the NBA championship. But, earning these tributes at Summer League is still very gratifying.

There were many players in Orlando over the past week that deserved consideration for Most Valuable Player, but the youngster that had the most success and did the most to help his team win was Oklahoma City’s James Harden.

Although the former Arizona State star didn’t shoot the ball well from the floor (14-of-39), Harden managed to attempt 50 free throws and averaged 17.5 points per game (sat out Thursday). He also helped the Thunder finish with a 4-1 record.

Other participants that deserved recognition included Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday, Charlotte’s Gerald Henderson and New Jersey’s Damion James.

Despite there not being a playoff to crown a Summer League champ, the team that demonstrated the most synergy was the Thunder. Besides simply finishing with a 4-1 record, Oklahoma City showed it can win with just about anyone on the floor.

On Thursday when Harden, Eric Maynor, D.J. White and Serge Ibaka all sat out, the Thunder still found a way to edge the Orlando Magic. They nearly went a perfect 5-0, but Jeremy Pargo connected on a last-second game-winning drive to propel the Bobcats.

Charlotte, meanwhile, definitely deserves to be mentioned as another team that showed plenty of promise. The Bobcats won three games total, including two at the buzzer.
By Dan Savage

There was a lot of buzz at the AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League on Friday. The reason, one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball was in the building. Michael Jordan sat courtside for the Magic’s game against his Bobcats, observing his squad’s narrow 80-77 defeat. The best line from that occurred from his appearance was when one person walked by and said: “The real king just walked in.” After all, it’s hard to picture a tremendous competitor like MJ ever teaming up with his greatest competition like LeBron James.

Although the Magic aren’t done in free agency and are still exploring moves via trade, don’t expect them to do anything reactionary. That’s simply not the style of Otis Smith. However, that doesn’t mean the Magic’s General Manager is silent on the subject of Miami’s super group either. When a reporter joked that Kobe Bryant was going to join James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and sign with the Heat, the quick-witted Smith replied, “No, he’s proven he can do it on his own.”

While Daniel Orton didn’t have a great finish to the 2010 AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer league – 1-for-7 from the field and zero rebounds – the Magic’s second round pick finally flashed some of his potential. Stanley Robinson notched 13 points and 10 boards in Orlando’s win over Charlotte. “It felt fantastic, because we finally got a win.” Robinson explained. “I finally played a good game so I am proud of myself.”

Along with a solid performance, Robinson may have also produced the top highlight of this season's Summer League. Just check out this phenomenal windmill slam.
Which All-Summer League First and Second Teams do you most agree with?
Which All-Summer League First and Second Teams do you most agree with?
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Who do you think was most impressive on Day Five of the 2010 AirTran Pro Summer League?
Who do you think was most impressive on Day Five of the 2010 AirTran Pro Summer League?
Latest Results