The NBA lockout has affected players’ progress because it prohibits them to use their team’s training facilities and it also wiped out the entire Summer League, which in previous years have helped aspiring players and NBA rookies to hone their craft and show their talent to coaches and prospective teams.
Last year, San Antonio Spurs’ Gary Neal virtually earned his spot on the Spurs roster because of the summer league.
This year, rookies don’t have the same privilege, but young Spurs players like Kawhi Leonard might get another chance.
Impact Basketball, one of the top basketball training sites in the world, will launch their own league in September stocked with NBA-level players.
Hoopsworld.com reports (via Spurs Nation) that a stellar list of top players have used the facility in the past, including current NBA stars like Chauncey Billups, John Wall, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rudy Gay, Baron Davis and Rajon Rondo.
“No current Spurs veterans are on the list, but Leonard was among the rookies who trained at the facility before the NBA Draft.
Joe Abunassar, the founder and head trainer of Impact Basketball, told Hoopsworld.com that the league will kick off in mid-September, likely during the week following Labor Day. Two games will be played each day and the league is expected to last at least two weeks long. There is also a chance that the games will be streamed online.
Getting the opportunity to play with other top pros would be invaluable for Leonard as he prepares for the start of his rookie season.
While Leonard can’t be sure exactly when the lockout will end, participating in an activity like this would help him provide an immediate impact to the Spurs when he arrives.”