As United States vaccinations numbers continue to tick upwards, more sporting events are being put back on the calendar, and fans have more opportunities to get back to arenas and stadiums around the country. In a few months, it looks like NBA Summer League will return to Las Vegas.
Obviously, we had a summer full of basketball in 2020, albeit in a very different form. The NBA had to push back the end of its season after the COVID-19 outbreak, finishing the regular season and full playoffs in the bubble in Orlando. As a result, the NBA Draft was pushed back to the fall, and there was very little time between the end of the 2019-20 and beginning of the 2020-21 seasons.
Barring some very bad news on the COVID-19 front, we should be in for a pretty normal 2021-22 season. More fans will be allowed into arenas for the playoffs this year, as COVID rates around the country plummet thanks to the vaccines, and we may have full capacity back in the fall.
According to Sam Gordon of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the city will once again serve as one of the hosts of Summer League. Rookies and other young NBA hopefuls will report to the desert from Aug. 8-17, per the report. The Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings have also hosted smaller Summer League events in years past. We don't yet know if those will also return.
Las Vegas is probably the fasting emerging sports city in the country. As sports betting becomes less taboo with states legalizing it around the country, the major sports leagues have started to open to it, and the city, as a result. Vegas has landed NFL and NHL teams in recent years, with the Raiders and Golden Knights, respectively. The Pac-12 has started hosting more events in the city, and with its new Las Vegas-connected commissioner, there are plenty of rumors that the league could relocate there from the Bay Area. There are plenty of rumors of the city landing MLB and NBA teams as well, should either league have expansion or a team relocate. Time will tell if either becomes a reality, but the NBA has found a ton of success with Summer League being played there, which doesn't hurt its case at all. [
The NBA’s annual Summer League is returning to Las Vegas from Aug. 8-17, a source tells the Review-Journal.
— Sam Gordon (@BySamGordon) May 19, 2021