LeBron James watches Nike-inspired Ball dominate in Vegas tournament


Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the National Football League since 2006.

Summer League tournament play ended Sunday in Las Vegas as the Dallas Mavericks fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 108-98 in the semifinals.

James, who signed a lifetime deal with Nike in December 2015, found time to praise Ball's performance. "Just being cautious. I wanted to get back out there, but the training staff is going to take care of me, and I will be with them tonight and tomorrow and hope I can get back out there tomorrow".

No, Lonzo Ball isn't a superstar. On Wednesday, Ball started off the same way, but once the Lakers fell behind he started doing what he needs to do to be successful in the National Basketball Association, he finished at the rim. With no draft pick, there is no reason for the Lakers to shoot for their first playoff appearance in what will be five years. "And there's some great ones, don't get me wrong". It is wonderful to watch. But at an NBA Summer League game last night, Ball wore Nike sneakers instead - and he had the best game of his professional career so far.

The Lakers/Kings battle was one that went down to the very last minute with Sacramento's Buddy Hield and LA's Vander Blue trading three-point shot after three-point shot.

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Dennis Smith Jnr paced the Mavericks with 21 points (7/13 FG) and six assists, while Yogi Ferrell added 15 points and five dimes. In the first two games, he wore his own Big Baller Brand shoe. He, famously, wore a pair of Kobe's.

The Mavs trailed the Lakers by as many as 25 in the second quarter, by 22 at halftime and were still in a 17-point hole at the end of the third period before they launched that comeback. Who knows. They say the doubters are just dreamers with broken hearts. and I would not blame anyone for having a broken heart due to Lonzo Ball not being drafted by their team.

But whether their young star, Lonzo Ball, takes the court remains to be seen. Johnson stood up and applauded. "You can see what he is all about, and he's a victor, that's what he is".

Torrey Craig had 27 points and 11 rebounds off the bench to lead Denver to its first victory and a spot in the second round.

Ball tried to jog it off in a back hallway in the third quarter, but he was hobbling a little bit and was shut down for the remainder of the game. This is the first time my calf has gotten tight. I think that's a testament to the way they play, that's a testament to the organization, and what we demand out of guys.