If Andray Blatche didn’t break his foot, his summer league reign might have continued. Instead, he handed the crown to Nick Young, who on Monday evening in Las Vegas, Nevada announced that he is retiring his summer league jersey after just one appearance in 2010.
One day Young will in turn bestow the same honor to someone else (JaVale McGee, perhaps?) … the use of “Summer League” as a moniker, or crown, or title — as in, “Hey Summer League, pass me the ball,” or “Man, Summer League let Marc Gasol score 10 points on him in the first 6:12 of the game.”
In the Wizards’ 84-69 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Young carried the torch and he went out on top. He scored 18 points on 6-11 from the field and 4-7 from long distance. Young only committed two turnovers in his 28 minutes of play, also notching a block, two steals and a whole rebound, but nary an assist.
Last summer Young averaged 23.8 points, third most in the league, on 50% from the field and 0.8 assists in four games. In 2008, he averaged 11 points on 35.2% shooting over five games. In 2007, Young averaged 14.8 points, second on the Wizards to Oleksiy Pecherov’s 15.2 points, on 38.8% from the field with 0.6 assists per game.
Young strove for accomplishment in his lone 2010 appearance, and succeeded at that. From his post game interview, you can deduce three things: 1) he understands John Wall can be a blessing to his game; 2) the corner three can become his niche … and it’s the closest three point shot in the league, so keep getting at it Nick; and 3) the gravity of a contract year is realized and if Young changes his defensive mindset, making more consistent the glimpses of hustle we saw last year, he could at least warrant an extension of the $3.7 million qualifying offer next summer.