Breakout performances at NBA summer league don't really count for much.
Sure the last 10 summer league MVPs include Blake Griffin, John Wall, and Damian Lillard. But here are the other seven recipients: Jerryd Bayless, Nate Robinson, Josh Selby (shared it with Lillard), Randy Foye (at age 28), Jonas Valanciunas, Glen Rice Jr., and the venerable Kyle Anderson.
And it goes the other way. Here's how the top three picks of the 2016 NBA Draft are shooting so far in this year's summer season:
Ben Simmons – 37 percent.
Brandon Ingram – 31.6 percent
Jaylen Brown – 32.1 percent
Not from three. From the field.
The summer league is essentially a sequence of glorified pickup games, with teams made up often of absolute strangers playing with zero plan in place. Some players thrive in this environment, other don't. But playing well in summer league seems to have very little correlation with how good a player is in the NBA.
That is, unless you're a 17-year-old, as Kobe Bryant was back in 1996.
In one of those performances, he dropped 36 points on the Phoenix Suns' summer squad.