LAS VEGAS – The Golden State Warriors won the inaugural NBA Summer League Championship Monday night in Las Vegas, defeating the Phoenix Suns 91-77. The victory was the 61st game of NBA Summer League 2013 which tipped off on Friday, July 12 and featured 22 teams competing in at least five games each. The top-seeded Warriors earned the victory over the Suns, the third overall seed in the tournament.
Golden State’s Ian Clark was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 NBA Summer League championship game following a 33-point outing on 12-of-19 from the floor, to lead the Warriors to victory. Going into tonight’s Championship game, Clark averaged 9.0 points in six games. Clark was selected by a panel of media members.
Jonas Valanciunas of the Toronto Raptors was named the Most Valuable Player of NBA Summer League 2013, as selected by the panel of media members. Valanciunas played in 4 games, averaging 18.8 points, good for fifth best in the league, to go with 10.0 rebounds, also fifth best league wide, in 29.3 minutes per game.
Valanciunas was joined by Kent Bazemore (Golden State), John Henson (Milwaukee), Jeff Taylor (Charlotte), Cody Zeller (Charlotte) as members of the All-NBA Summer League 2013 Team. The team, which consists of two frontcourt players and three backcourt players, was selected by journalists.
Henson played in three games for the Bucks in the summer classic, averaging 14.7 points, and 13.7 rebounds, second best in the NBA Summer League. Taylor helped his Bobcats to the semifinals of the 2013 NBA Summer League Tournament, averaging 20.3 points, third best in the NBA Summer League, while shooting 48-percent from the field in 31.3 minutes over four games. Taylor’s Charlotte teammate Zeller played in four games for the Bobcats, averaging 16.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 32.0 minutes. Bazemore was averaging 18.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 30.0 minutes over six games going into tonight’s championship, when he scored 18 points in 31 minutes.
NBA Summer League 2013 for the first time featured a tournament style schedule that crowned the Golden State Warriors the first ever NBA Summer League champion tonight. Participating teams, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Golden State, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, NBA D-League Select Team, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Toronto, and Washington, each played three games before being seeded in the tournament that concluded tonight.
Launched in 2004 as the Las Vegas Summer League, the inaugural event featured six NBA teams (Boston, Cleveland, Denver, Orlando, Phoenix and Washington) playing a 13-game slate. Long considered the best opportunity for teams to showcase young talented rosters, teams whose rosters included six of the last seven NBA Rookie of the Year award winners have participated in NBA Summer League including: Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets, 2005-06), Brandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers, 2006-07), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City, 2007-08), Tyreke Evans (Sacramento, 2009-10), Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers, 2010-11) and Kyrie Irving (2011-12).