Orlando Magic won't host Summer League in 2018
NBA.com Global on Nov 20, 2017 07:36 AM
2017 Orlando Summer League logo
NBA.com staff report
The NBA may have all 30 teams at the Las Vegas Summer League next summer, because the Orlando Magic are shutting down their own Summer League, which has been operating since 2002.
Last year, the Orlando league had eight teams, down from 10 in previous years. Six of the eight - Charlotte, Detroit, Indiana, New York, Oklahoma City, and Orlando - only played in the Orlando Summer League, with the NBA's other 24 teams in Las Vegas (and four of the 24 also playing in Utah)
The decision is a radical departure for the Magic, who ran and managed their own summer league in Central Florida 14 times since 2002.
But the decision also doesn’t impact Magic fans who are based in Orlando because the Orlando Pro Summer League was closed to the public. The only way fans could watch the games was to tune in on TV.
“The pendulum is swinging toward teams playing in Vegas,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said.
“It’s a level of competition and a level of exposure when more or less every team in the league is there and you’re playing in front of 20,000 people as opposed to playing in a gym with a few hundred people. So it better prepares you for what NBA life is really about with the crowds, the pressure, the travel — a lot of what you’re going to have to confront. Obviously, it’s not a true test of an NBA season, but it’s a little taste.”
“We want to do what’s right for the team, for our players,” Weltman said. “But that being said, when the large portion of the league is there [in Las Vegas], it does kind of create an environment where you want your young guys to be a part of what the league is about. So there is that added component.”