The first weekend of the NBA 2K23 Summer League had a little bit of everything — including a handful of overtime games, multiple contests decided by one possession and an impressive collection of splash plays.
Early on, Oklahoma City Thunder stars Josh Giddey and Chet Holmgren made headlines for treating fans to some spectacular summer hoops.
Several potential rising stars throughout the league also made their presence known with memorable plays.
Basketball fans are rightfully excited to see what week two will bring, but first, here are some of the buzziest plays from the Las Vegas Summer League’s opening weekend.
Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic
The No. 1 overall pick already made an early statement on why he was the first one off the board. After a 17-point performance in his NBA summer league debut against the Houston Rockets, the one-and-done Duke star followed up with a 23-point showing to give the Magic a 94-92 double-OT victory. Banchero shot 6-of-15 from the floor to pair with his six assists and six rebounds.
It didn’t take long for Banchero to get the internet talking. In the first quarter he displayed skills on both sides of the ball by stealing a pass and going coast-to-coast, sealing it with an emphatic 360 dunk.
After a dazzling two-game summer league showing where he averaged 20 points, six assists and five rebounds, the Magic decided to end Banchero’s summer league stint in order to evaluate other players.
Kevon Harris, Minnesota Timberwolves
Executing an and-1 is already a fulfilling play, but to combine that with a poster is even more impressive. Harris’ dunk on Denver Nuggets Matt Mitchell was heard all across the Twitter world. Harris went to Twitter and retweeted his monster jam with casket emojis, implying that he put Mitchell to bed with that play. Harris finished the game with 13 points.
Mac McClung, Golden State Warriors
After a brief stint with the Los Angeles Lakers G League squad last season, McClung is back turning heads, this time with the defending NBA Champions Golden State Warriors’ summer league team. McClung went off for 22 points shooting 9-of-15 collecting six rebounds and six assists in the Warriors’ 86-85 win against the San Antonio Spurs. Twitter called his performance the “McClung show” as he kept dazzling the crowd with his crazy finishes at the rim and show-time-like behind-the-back pass to Jarrod Uthoff for a slam.
JT Thor, Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets got their first summer league win for the first time since July 2019, after a game-winner from Thor put the Hornets on top 89-86 in double OT. Thor, a second-year player from Auburn, finished the game with 12 points and three rebounds along with the game-winning dagger in sudden death.
Shareef O’Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
Shareef, son of Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal, followed in his father’s footsteps after signing with the Lakers’ NBA summer league team. In a game against the Hornets, O’Neal threw down a massive two-handed slam on a fast break that shook the basket just like his dad used to do it.
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