The NBA withdrawals after season can get bad. I’ve been feeling them, and all the trade and free agent talk has gotten me antsy.
Fans have the Summer League to look forward to, which tips off on Friday, July 11 for the Lakers against the Toronto Raptors at 3:00 p.m. They also play on the 13th against the Pelicans and the 14th against the Warriors.
The Summer League championship game is July 21st. Preseason play won’t start until October. But for the basketball enthusiast, there’s another place this summer to see your favorite basketball starts, old and new, in the Los Angeles area.
The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball and Music Festival (July 22-27th) is in its second year, and already growing in popularity with the basketball community, like participation from former Laker players Luke Walton and Sasha Vujacic in the six-man competition. Athletic prowess doesn’t stop there; three-time Gold medalist Kerri Walsh is competing for team USA, along with Brazillian superstar Larissa Franca coming out of retirement to fight for the WSOBV one million in cash prizes.
Close to the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, we’ve watched LA-based NBA stars opt for homes along the CA coast, which has sparked their interest in beach volleyball. For those who have watched the Olympic Games in the past, you may have noticed Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and other NBA players watching Kerri Walsh and team USA dominate when the group didn’t have their own basketball games going on. In fact, the Black Mamba proudly praises the sport. Don’t be surprised if you see him walking around the beach July 22-27th at the WSOBV, as the sport has become a favorite of all Team USA members the last 8 years.
It doesn’t stop at just Kobe. Darren Collison, former Clipper and now Sacramento King, is playing in the celebrity volleyball match this year on July 26th. His former UCLA and Clipper teammate Ryan Hollins attended the WSOBV in 2013 as the Celebrity Coach for the charity game and tweeted photos of himself at the Bronze Medal Title Match. Brent Barry, who began his NBA career with the LA Clippers in the 90’s, competed in the inaugural event’s six-man with NBA vet Richard Jefferson. Former Laker James Worthy also took to the sand last year.
The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball brings together the world’s best beach volleyball players in a way that’s never been seen in the world of professional sports. The affair is much more than a volleyball tournament; it’s a music festival sponsored by iHeart Radio and a celebration of all things beach. One of the reasons why it draws such an incredible sports crowd.
The coolest part about the WSOBV is anyone can participate either as a spectator, music lover, or even in four man/six man competitions. How often do you and your buddies get a chance to kick back in the sand around a bunch of beautiful people and play a little 6-on-6 against Luke Walton, who sported a Kurt Rambis jersey the entire 2013 weekend, I might add. Once in a lifetime experience, my friends.
As a basketball fan, you have to go to this event. The beach volleyball bug has bit some of our favorite former and current NBA ballers, and in a sport space as grand as this, the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball is the place to be this end of July. This may be a beach volleyball competition, but the week is chalk full of basketball love. Miami Heat DJ Irie is even spinning all weekend long. Between the amateur events, the celebrity participation, and the overall NBA in-the-know, fans of the court will glad they stepped foot into the sand.
You can also view a link of last year’s action here:
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