By Amanda Scurlock
The NBA announced today that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams will join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams. The 15th NBA Summer League will take place July 5-15 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Team China previously played in Las Vegas at NBA Summer League 2007. Team Croatia will make its NBA Summer League debut.
MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 will be an 11-day, 83-game competition that opens with all 32 teams playing four preliminary games each. The top eight teams are then seeded in a tournament, which culminates with a Championship Game on July 15. Teams that do not qualify for the tournament will each play a consolation game. Every team will play at least five games and as many as seven at NBA Summer League.
Last year, all 30 NBA teams participated at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League for the first time. NBA Summer League 2018 set a record for total attendance (139,972) for the second consecutive year and matched the single-day attendance record (17,500), which was established in 2017.
The 2018 event was the most-watched NBA Summer League ever, with ESPN and NBA TV combining to amass 30.4 million hours viewed. Fans across social media platforms accounted for more than 565 million video views, an increase of 35 percent from the previous year.
The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the Championship Game of MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018. The Trail Blazers’ K.J. McDaniels was named the Most Valuable Player of the Championship Game, while the Lakers’ Josh Hart earned MVP honors for NBA Summer League 2018.
Nine of the top 10 players selected in NBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm, including No. 1 overall selection Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns, competed in NBA Summer League 2018. Three of those players – the Chicago Bulls’ Wendell Carter Jr., the New York Knicks’ Kevin Knox and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton – were part of the 2018 MGM Resorts All-NBA Summer League First Team.
MGM Resorts NBA Summer League has a rich history of showcasing the NBA’s future stars. Kia NBA MVPs Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook are NBA Summer League alums. NBA All-Stars Blake Griffin, Damian Lillard and John Wall are former NBA Summer League MVPs.
Ticket information and complete game and broadcast schedules for MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 will be announced at a later date.
This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel.