It’s been the summer of the Pro-Am around the NBA.
Both veterans and young players have both been spotted in different parts of the country showing off their skills in Pro-Am games. Not only are these NBA players showing off at these Pro-Am games, they’re showing out as well.
Last week, we saw a video circulating across social media platforms of former Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas dropping 81 points in a Pro-Am game in Seattle. Thomas also took time out to bust some dude’s ankles along the way to this scoring feat while wearing a pair of Kobe Bryant’s shoes.
Now one week later we have another outstanding scoring output in a Pro-Am game in the Pacific Northwest. Make that two more.
A couple of days ago video popped up online of another Celtics guard putting in that work to the tune of 92 points. Second-year Celtics guard Payton Pritchard put a 92 spot on the forehead of his opponents in a Portland, Oregon, Pro-Am game.
Talk about an outburst, Payton averaged 7.7ppg in his rookie year with the Celtics. That isn’t bad for playing under 20 minutes a game. But the Celtics sure could have used this type of offensive tenacity during the playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets a few months ago!
What is it lately about these small Celtics guards going H.A.M. in summer Pro-Am games? Both guys either played or play for the Celtics currently. Both players are from the same region of the country — the Pacific Northwest. Both played college ball in the Pac-10/12 conference. I would say it’s something in that Pacific Northwest water, but I also reside in the PNW, and the water here isn’t all that great.
In the same game as Pritchard, but on the opposing squad, Brooklyn Nets guard Mike James posted a rather awesome display of scoring with an alleged 70-point performance. There is some dispute over whether James scored 63, 67, or 70 points in the game. I’ve seen mention of all three totals. But 70 is the one most out there, so we’ll give it to him. It’s a Pro-Am game, not the NBA Finals.
Either way, these games give you an even further appreciation of what NBA players can do. Pritchard and James combined for over 150 points in one game. As good as both players may be, they are both about the eighth or ninth guys off the bench for respective NBA teams. No, knock on them but it’s just amazing the skill level of all NBA players.
Another thing this game confirmed for me is that it isn’t just in the NBA that nobody cares much about defense anymore. Their scores alone are enough proof, but watching the video of the game, it’s apparent that defense is completely optional on all levels of the game at this point.
I can’t wait to see which NBA player pops up next to score 200 points in a Pro-Am game. It’s kind of like a glorified shoot-around. And I’m here for it.