After hopping it up with Trae Young in the CrawsOver Pro-Am League, Hawks swingman Dejounte Murray took to social media to share an important message.
Pleading with his peers and fellow NBA hoopers, Murray explained the benefits of Pro-Am play and how suiting up for a quick Pro-Am hoop sesh allows a new type of audience to watch and appreciate NBA-level talent.
"To my NBA brothers. If you healthy and love hooping man get out to these Pro-Am so these kids and and people who can't afford to see us be able to see us for free. We ain't too big for that sh*t!"
Many NBA players don't bother with Pro-Am leagues. Not only does it involve giving up precious off-season time, but it's a kind of competition that a lot of people might consider below professional-level players.
Nevertheless, a lot of the game's top players are breaking that narrative by showing up and balling out. So far, the list includes Murray, Trae Young, John Collins, Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, and many more.
The Drew League also got a chance to shine this summer, with big stars like LeBron James and DeMar DeRozan showing out for the event.
While it might not seem like much for these players to commit to playing in some of these leagues, it certainly means a lot to the ones who get to watch and witness the games for themselves. On his podcast, Draymond Green perfectly summed up the impact James and others have when they participate.
"As someone who's not a local here, what I saw was like you just said, kids that will never in their life have the opportunity to watch you play have the opportunity to watch LeBron James play, and, like, I could feel that. Like, you could see that... You could see the reactions on their faces and to allow the city to touch him," said Draymond. "Growing up, NBA players were surreal to me. They weren't real people. Somebody you watched play basketball on TV and, like, 'wow, that's incredible. I want to do that one day, but no clue how to get there.' What I saw from those kids was, they got to touch you. They got to touch LeBron James."
In the end, it's easy to forget that not everybody, and not every family, can afford to attend NBA games. Not every state even has a team to root for.
What these smaller summer leagues provide is a chance for some of the game's biggest fans to enjoy watching their heroes do what they do best at an unprecedented discount.