When the Los Angeles Lakers clinched their spot in the NBA playoffs in dramatic fashion by defeating the Golden State Warriors in the play-in game, many fans were predicting a solid title defense and a deep run in the post-season. That wasn’t to be. Last week’s unexpected series loss to the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the NBA playoffs meant an early start of the off-season for both the Lakers and Laker fans.
So what’s a die-hard fan to do?
Follow the NBA Draft
On July 29th the NBA will conduct its 74th draft in which teams can select eligible- college and international players over two rounds and sixty picks. This year, the Detroit Pistons won the right to the first overall pick, followed by the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavalier. The Toronto Raptors will be selecting 4th, and the Orlando Magic 5th, rounding out the top five picks in this year’s draft.
Watch Other Sports
Major League Baseball is in full swing and playing a full 162 game schedule that will conclude in October just as the NBA season kicks off.
After a delay of more than a year due to the pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are finally underway. The games begin on Wednesday, July 21st with the host nation of Japan’s softball team taking the field against Australia at the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium. The traditional opening ceremony will take place Friday, July 23rd, and the games will run through August 8, 2021.
Also kicking off after a year delay, the European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2020 or simply Euro 2020. This will be the 16th UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Europe sponsored by the Union of European Football Associations.
Euro 2020 games begin on June 11th and will end exactly a month later on July 11, 2021. There will be over fifty from the group stage all the way to the finals, meaning there’s ample opportunity to get vested even for casual soccer fans.
Attend NBA Summer League
NBA Summer League is back in Las Vegas August 8-17 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This year will feature all 30 NBA teams playing five games apiece during the 75-game event, culminating in a Summer League Championship Game on August 17th.
Tickets for the event will go on sale beginning on June 23rd with complete-game and broadcast schedules being announced after the NBA Draft.
Stream Space Jam: A New Legacy
Starring LeBron James, Khris Davis, Don Cheadle, Sonequa Martin-Green, Cedric Joe, Jeff Bergman, Eric Bauza, and Zendaya, Space Jam: A New Legacy opens in theaters and streams on HBO Max beginning July 16th. Not a sequel nor a reboot of the original 1996 Space Jam with Michael Jordan, A New Legacy begins with a rogue artificial intelligence kidnapping the son of LeBron James, who then has to work with Bugs Bunny to win a basketball game to secure his safety and release.