An injury robbed Avery Bradley of his first NBA training camp. The NBA lockout could very well take his second. But Bradley still has a plan to get valuable experience against NBA competition: he will participate in the Impact Training Competitive Basketball Series along with Jermaine O’Neal and a host of other NBA players.
Abunassar expects the league to be comprised of six to eight teams of seven to eight players, with NBA teammates playing together when possible. There will be a playoff round and championship game, which is scheduled for Sept. 23.
Games will feature NBA rules with slight adjustments to foul rules and 10-minutes quarters.
Fans will also be allowed to watch, for a fee. After covering league costs, proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to charities selected by each team.
Abunassar plans to post statistics and standings on the Impact Basketball website and hopes to reach a deal with a broadcaster to provide feeds to the games online.
Besides Shumpert, first-year pros scheduled to play include Grizzlies guard Josh Selby and Wizards guard Shelvin Mack. Among second-year players expected are Clippers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, Blazers guard Armon Johnson and Celtics guard Avery Bradley, according to Abunassar.
With John Wall, Zach Randolph, Chauncey Billups and Stephen Jackson also slated to compete, the Impact league should have a nice mix of established veterans and young bucks searching for their niche. For Bradley and the other youngsters, the league could provide a valuable learning experience.
The games should give Bradley a chance to work on his point guard skills and an opportunity to play extended minutes; last season he played a minute here, a minute there, and never got much chance to develop on the court. Sometimes, that lack of development equated to Bradley playing like a blindfolded rabbi. Other times, he did manage to show some flashes of competency, if not brilliance. During the last regular season game of the year, for example, Bradley poured in 20 points while playing mostly against the Knicks’ backups, displaying confidence and shot-making ability that far exceeded anything else he contributed all season.
Playing fall league basketball, of course, comes with the threat of injury. Then again, so does walking down the street eating a doughnut. If Bradley stays healthy, the Impact league could help him break through during his sophomore campaign. As anyone who watched Bradley last year knows, he needs the reps.