This article is sponsored by the Texas Legends.
In case you didn’t know, the Toronto Raptors are the 2018-2019 NBA Champions. In case you also didn’t know, their head coach, Nick Nurse, won two G-League championships with the Iowa Wolves in 2011 (Minnesota Timberwolves affiliate) and the Rio Grande Vipers in 2013 (Houston Rockets affiliate).
In case you also, also didn’t know, two of the key players in that championship run, Pascal Siakam and Fred Vanvleet, won a championship in 2017 for Toronto’s G-League affiliate Raptors 905.
So why is an article promoting the Texas Legends starting off with a list of accolades from a rival G-League team and its NBA affiliate?
Simple. To illustrate that when you show up for a Texas Legends game you’re watching future NBA players, future NBA stars, future NBA champions, future Olympians for their home countries, even if they’re on the visiting team.
Of course, we all love our Legends. We want you to show up to as many games as possible and cheer on your team and support all the players who move in and out of the roster as they chase their basketball dreams. But there’s another angle here that I don’t feel we’ve covered yet.
We’ve told you how much fun your kids will have at a Texas Legends game. You’ve got the Southern Star Entertainment Zone, the Perfect Smiles Kids’ Zone, the Tik Tok Zone, technology and gaming stations, and don’t forget the post-game autographs.
We’ve told you how much fun your entire family will have a Texas Legends game. You’ve got the Owner’s Club Lounge for your inner-socialite or your networking workaholic. They’re all of those kid zones for your little sports fans. You can even get your hair cut at a game for your inner multi-tasker.
But what about the true sports fan? Have we told you about that yet? I’m not trying to diminish anyone’s sports acceptance. If you’re at a game, you or someone with you has a respectable level of sports appreciation.
Let’s dive deeper than sports in general. What about the true basketball fan?
The people who lose 48 hours of productivity filling out their March Madness brackets instead of just picking a winner based on a hypothetical mascot battle. (Oregon State’s mascot is a beaver and Stanford’s mascot is a tree. Oregon State should win every time, right?)
The people who know that the original rules of basketball didn’t allow or even mention dribbling. (You could only advance the ball by passing it hand to hand; eventually, the loophole was found that by dribbling the ball a player is technically “passing” to him or herself and advancing the ball in that manner.)
The people who know that the two-man Dallas Mavericks team in the 1993 NBA Jam video game was comprised of Derek Harper and Mike Iuzzolino. Or even remember Mike Iuzzolino played for the Mavs.
Or even know how to spell “Iuzzolino.”
The Texas Legends experience is all-inclusive, but if you’re a real basketball fan don’t let all of the other fantastic events and pageantry during the game experience deter you. There is so much talent, so much potential, so much “I remember watching him play way back when” type of moments whether they’re wearing our laundry or representing the opposing team.
When I was a kid, I went to Dallas Mavericks games as a die-hard fan, and I hated seeing people in any jersey other than a Mavs jersey. How dare they? But then later, I realized, “Dang! I just watched Michael Jordan play live in person.” My perspective changed. Of course, I still rooted for the Mavs and wanted them to win every game and wished the arena was full of nothing but Mavs fans, but I was fortunate to see some great players on the other teams come through town as well.
In an upcoming Hustle & Pro podcast, host Kelly Walker and I had the opportunity to sit down with Texas Legends Vice President of Basketball Operations Al Whitley. It’s worth a listen because he speaks in passionate detail about this very point.
When you attend a Legends game, you’re potentially seeing the next champions not just on the G-League level but beyond, and there’s so much time and energy that goes into helping these players reach their ultimate professional goals.
So with all of the ambiance, all of the perks, all of the experience that enhances a Texas Legends game night at Comerica Center, consider, true basketball fan, that the game itself is not an afterthought. You’re watching future NBA players, future NBA stars, future NBA champions, future Olympians for their home countries, even if they’re on the visiting team.
Not all future legends play for the Texas Legends. Maybe they wish they did, but that’s another story.