Well, I'm finally in Las Vegas. It's 6:00 and I'm in my pajamas. Wait! You probably don't care about that very much.
Let's talk about something you might care about. The NBA Summer league and the Spurs.
Let's Kick This Baby Off
The NBA Summer League presented by EA Sports kicks off tomorrow, Friday, July 10th at 3:00 (all times will be Spurs time) with the Rockts and the Warriors. However, the Spurs don't play the first of their five games until Sunday at 3:00. You will be able to watch the games via feeds from NBA.COM. The schedule has little 'watch' links on them that should be live when the game time comes around.
There are 21 NBA teams here. All the Western Conference teams are represented except Utah. There is also a D-League select team.
Here are the Spurs official roster and schedule for your dining pleasure. I don't think SpurNando will be playing and I'm hoping Haislip does. I doubt he will, but I'm hoping. I think it will be interesting to see how the Spurs dole out the minutes. It will be a good indicator of who they are seriously considering. There are, at most, four roster spots available. I don't know what the plans are with Marcus Williams so there may only be three spots available. I don't think anybody, including Marcus, is a given to make the team.
PtR Summer League Headquarters
You can check out my accommodations here. Yes, the irony. My room doesn't look much like that outside of the bed and the window. It's decent though. Most importantly, it's cold.
Upsides of the room:
- Serious ass AC - I'm running it at mid-level cold because I froze myself out early this evening
- Internet connection - not free
- A desk - once I took it off the top of the television stand
- Hot shower
- Ice machine - just down the hall
- Easy access to outside - I'm not up in a big hotel. I can walk out and get in my car in about 60 seconds.
- Close to the pool - I'm hoping to get in a little pool time in the mornings. The pool is on the opposite side of the parking lot.
- [UPDATED] - I now have a coffeemaker. I called the front desk and they sent it up. I had to go by filters for it, it came with pre-packaged coffee, but I am good to go and enjoying my coffee.
- No coffeemaker - I brought my own coffee and now I will have to go buy a coffeemaker.
- No refrigerator
- View - I overlook a parking lot. This, however, is better for me for this trip than the other option which is the pool. I won't have to listen to the pool music and pool crowd.
- Age - the room could use a freshening up. It's a little tired. Kind of like me.
What Can You Expect From This Summer League Coverage?
I'm not positive yet. I'm stepping into uncharted territory here. I have no idea what the setup at the arena will be. Will I have internet access? I don't know. I've never been so Summer League before and I've never had press credentials before. I think things will evolve over the next 10 days in ways that I can't imagine right now.
I can tell you this. You should expect to be overwhelmed with information. I intend to be at the arena for 9-10 hours per day.
For starters, I'll make sure to watch two games per day. I'll do a preview of those two games each morning. Obviously, I'll be watching all the Spurs games and I'll be following those games closely.
How Did I Get Here?
Glad you asked. Here's a recap of the 20+ hour, 1320.2 mile, and 2 day road trip from Austin, TX to the Hooter's Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, NV via Phoenix, AZ. I left the house at 6:15 Wednesday morning and arrived at my friend's house in Phoenix at 7:45 local time which is 9:45 Austin time. That's 15.5 hours. The drive had it's moments.
I stopped at Balmorhea State Park.
Balmorhea is in the northern end of the Chihuahuan desert. The state park has a pool. It is a spring fed pool that is nice and cool. I stopped in for a lunch and a swim.
After lunch and a swim, it was back on the road. After 600 miles and about 8 hours of driving I finally got out of Texas. I was feeling good and making good time. Then shit happened.
I got a text from Rikiddo telling me that the Spurs got McDyess. Then I got caught in a thunderstorm going through Tucson, AZ. I don't believe I've ever been that scared on the road. At one point, lightning hit about 200 yards away. Shortly thereafter, it started raining so hard -- with the sun in front of us -- that we had a whiteout. I don't think I could see more than about 40-50 feet. Needless to say, I crapped my pants.
Here's a picture before things got bad.
I left Phoenix Thursday morning, after spending a very nice evening eating and drinking with friends, and promptly got lost because I wasn't paying attention. Then, I got lost because I wasn't paying attention again. Twice I got lost trying to find a highway exit because I wasn't paying attention. Good times.
There is a stretch of road from just outside Wickenburg to Wikieup that is a lot of fun. It's climbing up through the mountains in a 70 MPH zone. The 4Runner, with a V8, was going up them like a mountain goad. Even at 80 climbing a pretty good grade I could still get it to accelerate with a leap.
Then I hit the dam traffic. As in Hoover Dam. Since LatinD is dam guy I got him some pictures.
This is an enormous flood drain or something. See the arch of the bridge. That hole below it is the drain. There are cars on that bridge.
The other cool thing besides the dam is the new bridge they are building to span the canyon in front of the dam. Check this shit out. This arch has got to be 1000 feet above the water. Those are concrete arches that are HANGING out there. They don't really even touch yet.
Then to Vegas. Yes, Vegas. Not New York.
Then I safely arrived here at my home away from home.
How Did I Entertain Myself? Music, Of Course
Here's my play list from the drive out:
- Moby - Hotel: 'I Like It' is a dirty song. I like it.
- Jimmy Cliff - Wonderful World, Beautiful People: His stuff is so powerful.
- JJ Cale - Naturally: Great road tunes
- Aerosmith - Eponymous: I think it is their first album from 1973. Dream On if probably my 5th favorite song. Make It. Somebody. Walking The Dog. Mama Kin. It's amazine how good they used to be.
- Alice In Chains - Dirt: I hadn't listened to it in a while. Shame on me.
- Pimsleur's Italain: Unit 4
- Neko Case & Her Boyfriends - Furnace Room Lullaby: I started with the last track that is the title cut. Because after you have a nice calm, relaxing swim a song by a woman with a beautiful voice about stuffing her man in the furnace just feels right. This album has quite a country aspect to a lot of songs. But a few are fantastic.
- Moe Bandy - The Very Best Of: Old school country. It's an album full of cheating songs.
- AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: Or as Mrs ATS thought it used to be 'Thirty thieves and the thunder chief'. The last 3 minutes of Squealer are a guitar solo that is a must listen to.
- Brian Eno/John Cale - Wrong Way Up: You have to be able to get past the electronic drum sound. If you can, very nice album.
- Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger: I think it is at the 3:00 mark where 'Jesus Christ Pose' just goes to a fantastic heavy metal place.
- REM - Reckoning: South Central Rain is always beautfiul
- Neko Case - Blacklisted: Deep Red Bells is the song that turned me on to her
- Rage Against The Machine - Renegades: This is what I was listening to when I was getting lost. My version goes 'When a redneck gets a funk'. The live song with Cypress Hill is great. Makes me wish I had seen them back in the day.
- U2 - Joshua Tree: One Tree Hill. Love it. Listened to it 4 times.
- Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Vol. 4: The mix on Supernaut seems weak to me. I can only imagine how good that was to hear live. Has there ever been a better guitarist than Tony Iommi at creating catchy riffs? The answer is NO.
- Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die: The whole CD is a jam session.
- AC/DC - If You Want Blood You've Got It: Good lord Angus can play. The guitar in Bad Boy Boogie is ridiculous.
Let's get this Summer League underway.