King of the Ball
As I eagerly wait to watch one of my favorite teams, the Toronto Raptors, rule this year’s NBA Season, I thought it would be a great idea to get myself some pre-season basketball action. So, what’s the smartest thing a huge basketball aficionado can do just before the season starts? Well, get a taste of some real street-ball action and that’s exactly what I did at the Nike Crown League.
For those you wondering what the Nike Crown League is all about, it’s an underground basketball tournament that brings NBA talent to the streets, where they duke it out. It was organized in Toronto and was sponsored by Nike. A great way to market your sneakers, I must say.
This summer’s Crown League saw 6 teams going toe to toe at Jarvis Collegiate. The tournament lasted throughout July and saw several guest appearances including James Johnson from the Raptors and Kelly Olynyk from the Celtics. Kelly did a great job showcasing his skills on the court, proving once again that Toronto’s ballers are some of the best out there.
This year’s Crown League was reminiscent of the Nike Battleground; another Nike sponsored tournament that, a decade ago, put some of Toronto’s best ballers against each other in a ‘win it or just get lost’ kind of outdoor tournament. Back then, Phil Dixon walked away as the winner, showing everybody who the real boss was.
The best part about the Crown League now is that it showed fans, like me, the kind of talent that Toronto has. I mean, these guys were simply top notch and easily pro-level, with some of the best ball skills.
As far as the tournament is concerned, a victory was lapped up by “1 Love TO” and they were crowned as the kings of this year’s Crown League. As far as I, and a lot of other fans are concerned, it was a fitting win.