I’ve been covering the Orlando Summer Pro League all week (you can read the pieces here if you missed any). My final piece from Orlando is a look at the atmosphere in Orlando, and why it’s player’s equivalent of a physical exam. It’s a piece I wrote for WEEI, which you can find here. Here’s an excerpt:
The players are fully exposed on the court. Every squeak of sneakers, every slap of a foul, every curse after a missed shot is heard quite plainly by just about everyone. With no more than three rows of seating surrounding the court, expressions are clearly visible, even winces from coaches who clearly expected something different from a play.
Yes, the environment during these games can be unforgiving.
But most of these guys love it.
“I’m really having fun out there and having fun with my team,” said first-round pick (and summer league star) Kelly Olynyk. “It’s a great group of guys, a great group of coaches, very encouraging.”
Strip away all the ancillary stuff like crowds and a PA announcer, and what these guys have been doing out there all week is simply playing basketball. For the purists who want to hear and see every little bit of detail, this is a little slice of bliss.
“It’s been great,” new head coach Brad Stevens told me this week. “I’ve been able to get to the gym and sit, and listen, and talk, and evaluate and then I can go back to my room and work. So it’s been a great balance.”
Please go check out the whole piece on WEEI.com and leave a comment there if you have one. Hope you enjoy it.