Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones, the former Apple Valley High superstar, was named Most Valuable Players of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas even before Monday night's 84-82 overtime loss to Chicago in the title game.
Despite the loss, Jones put on another excellent performance.with 27 points and 10 assists, including a three-pointer from about 29 feet that gave the Wolves a three-point lead with 3.9 seconds left -- and would have been the game-winner except for the buzzer-beater by Denzel Valentine that sent the game into overtime.
Summer League basketball had been a low-profile, who-cares kind of thing until television (NBA TV and ESPN) discovered it as summer filler programming.
Now, though, almost all of the games are on TV and the title game earned a prime-time spot on ESPN. (Counter programming to a political convention, Monday Night Raw and the final innings of another Twins loss, perhaps)
If you missed it, though, here's the Tyus Jones highlight reel:
As long as we're here, this is the basket by Valentine, the rookie from Michigan State, that sent the game into overtime:
Denzel Valentine with the answer!!! pic.twitter.com/oJ4KXdfoFM— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD_) July 19, 2016
And, finally, when he was asked about the Bulls' success in the tournament, assistant coach Pete Myers started his answer with sweet words about the late Flip Saunders and his son Ryan, who coached the Wolves' summer league team.
Have a listen:
Pete Myers talking about the Bulls changing the culture. pic.twitter.com/XfcLldltXf— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD_) July 19, 2016