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Richard Jefferson Goes Off On Young Players Who Skip Summer League Games: "A Lot Of These Teams Coddle These Players."

Richard Jefferson

To most fans, the Las Vegas summer league is nothing more than a meaningless tournament meant to showcase young and upcoming talent across the association.

To the actual Summer League participants, the tournament presents an important and unique opportunity to hone your skills and prepare for a career in the NBA. Really, there aren't too many excuses for a  sophomore player to skip out on Summer League, and NBA analyst Richard Jefferson is tired of seeing young guys being allowed to not participate in the event.

"A lot of these teams coddle these players," said RJ. "I played a national championship game, the last possible game you could, and then I followed it up and went to the NBA Finals after doing Summer League. So I went Finals, Summer League, we went to the Finals, and then and I went to Summer League again because my team was like, 'Richard, we know you just guarded Kobe in the Finals, but we want to see you and Jason Collins and Brian Scalabrine. Richard, we want to see you handle the ball more. We wanna see you be more of a playmaker. Just because you were a top pick and you're All-Rookie team doesn't mean you don't need to be out here working again.  I understand injuries, but I would say about 70% of the first-round picks should be out here again after your rookie year."

Players hold all the power in these modern times, and even players who are a year or two into the league are finding it easier to get their way in the NBA.

While this trend isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can hinder the development of a rebuilding young squad if taken too far. Certainly, for a team like the Pistons, Rockets, or Spurs, having your young guys out there getting some minutes in builds something for the future.

Things like the Summer League ad training camp can provide lucrative opportunities to get a head start on mastering the NBA landscape.