Summer Pro League
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The Summer Pro League (SPL), formerly known as the Southern California Summer Pro League, was a basketball league held every summer in Long Beach, California. The SPL moved to the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Long Beach State in 1995. Before then, it was held at various sites in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, including UCLA, Loyola Marymount University, and Pepperdine University.
While not run by the National Basketball Association (NBA), the league previously hosted NBA teams with their first and second round draft picks, undrafted players, and free agents. Due to the NBA lockout in 1998, no NBA teams were entered into the league that year. Due to the rising popularity of the Las Vegas Summer League, 2006 was the last year the NBA sent teams to the SPL. 2007 was the SPL's final year in operation, during which the league played with amateur teams.
Kobe Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers team during the 1996 Summer Pro League. He scored 27 points in 26 minutes in a 123–113 loss to the Detroit Pistons prompting Pistons coach Alvin Gentry to say, "I don't want to compare anyone to Michael Jordan. But I'll call [Bryant] Jordanesque. I have never a better player his age at his position." Bryant went on to average 25 points in the Summer Pro League. He returned to the league in 1997.
- "Whatever Happened To The LB Summer Pro League?". lbpost.com. July 20, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- Not So Hot
- Summer Pro League (SPL)
- Washburn, Gary (July 14, 1996). "Bryant: 27 points, 26 minutes: Lakers rookie doesn't look like only 17". Los Angeles Daily News. Los Angeles, California. p. S11.
- Washburn, Gary (July 25, 1996). "Bryant signs $3.65 million deal". Los Angeles Daily News. Los Angeles, California. p. S2.
- "Bryant faces changes, challenges". Los Angeles Daily News. Los Angeles, California. Associated Press. November 2, 1997. p. SB1.
- Hill, Randy (July 9, 1999). "New NBA rules get tested at Pyramid". Los Angeles Daily News. Los Angeles, California. p. S10.
- Stevens, Joe (July 14, 2001). "Summer pro league: Magic time at Summer Pro League". Los Angeles Daily News. Los Angeles, California. p. S7.
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