LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — From Steph Curry to Giannis Antetokoumpo to Lebron James, some of the best basketball players on the planet have visited the Thomas & Mack Center to watch the next wave of stars at Summer League. It's a spectacle the NBA and basketball fans are happy to have back after a year without it.
"We're from Maine and we're big basketball fans. And we thought it would be a great experience taking everybody here and seeing some NBA action. The kids are just loving it," said Matthew Oliver who brought his three kids to watch the action.
Even with new safety protocols in place, fans couldn't be happier to be back watching basketball, including the NBA's best and brightest young stars.
"Over the years, there have been players that came here, Lebron James, as a matter of fact. So you may see a star out here right now transpire to the NBA," said Mark, a Pistons fan.
"The competition is there for sure. Everybody is fighting for a spot, for their dreams. So, competition is there and hopefully, they can just keep it up and keep battling," said Tyler Clair, who was visiting Las Vegas from west Texas.
Fans are especially appreciative after COVID-19 canceled Summer League last year. The NBA's Senior Vice President of Global Events, Joseph Graziano, didn't say whether attendance was up or down compared to past years, but says this year's league has been a big success.
"It's been incredible. I would say the entire Vegas community has really shown out and again shown their love of the NBA and their love of basketball. Each day, we've had an incredible number of fans. We're really excited about how this year's Summer League has played out," said Graziano.
When asked whether Las Vegas could one day be home to its own NBA team, Graziano said we'll just have to wait and see.
"Listen, I want to know that too. Las Vegas is a place I certainly love to come to. I know all of our fans are here. So I'd love to someday know that answer just as much as you would," said Graziano.
Tuesday is the last day of Summer League action with seven more games being played in Las Vegas, highlighted by the championship game at 6 p.m. between the Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings.