Summer basketball is alive and well at the Drew League. Perhaps the two best shooting guards in the NBA today, James Harden and Klay Thompson, squared off in the first round of the Drew League playoffs. Unlike the Western Conference Finals, Harden’s team emerged victorious with a 15-point nine-rebound nine-assist performance from the runner-up MVP.
He even pump-faked Klay and drilled the pull-up before stirring the pot for his native Los Angeles denizens.
Watching two elite NBA guards in a local gym is such a joy. They’re free of the often rigorous structure of NBA offenses, and — at least in the case of Harden — they don’t usually need to defend the best opposing player. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much insane talent every single NBA player possesses, but only at Drew can Nick Young can become a one-man legend.
Players compete at the Drew League, but it’s mostly about putting on a show and having fun. Thompson is one of the best shooters on planet Earth. We should get to watch him launch 30-foot jumpers on a more consistent basis.
One of these days, Steph Curry needs to make an appearance so he can burn the entire gym down. A mid-summer showdown between Harden and Curry would be enough to hold us over until the start of the NBA season, but Klay was actually defending Harden and doing stuff like this:
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, Harden’s team plays on August 8 at 3:30 p.m.