Picture this: the Lakers come to town to play the Wizards at Verizon Center. At the start of the game, L.A. general manager Mitch Kupchak walks up to Washington GM Ernie Grunfeld at center court and tells him his team is going down.
Grunfeld grabs a microphone, publicly announces to Kobe that his game is weak, chest bumps John Wall, and jumps behind the scorer’s table. Ernie then spends the rest of the game on the mic calling play-by-play to the arena and trash talking the Lakers, while Kupcheck sits on top of the scorer’s table and alternates between slinging insults directed at the Wizards, arguing calls and telling Grunfeld to shove it.
NBA fans got a taste of just that on Saturday night.
Not Kupchak and Grunfeld mind you, but their Summer League equivalents Dino Smiley of L.A.’s Drew League and Miles Rawls of D.C.’s Goodman League.
At the start of Saturday’s Goodman-Drew game, Rawls stuck his finger into JaVale McGee’s Drew-uniformed eye-level chest and issued a warning into the microphone.
“You’re going down,” he declared before chest bumping Goodman player John Wall.
And with that, the tone was set.
Rawls spent the game doing what he does best -- talking trash. He repeatedly called Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins “Bad Attitude,” bagged on an absent Nick Young for not showing up to play and heckled Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan mercilessly for his lack of jump shot. And when DeRozan hit a jumper and looked over at Rawls pointedly, Rawls laughed and challenged him to make two in a row.
His insults made Spurs guard Gary Neal laugh so hard he lost his dribble and the ball. When JaVale McGee became defiant after being substituted out, Rawls suggested that Smiley might need to get his team in check.
“Who is running this team?” he asked Smiley.
And because this was all done with a mic in his hand, the crowd was privy to every word.
Smiley perched himself inches away on top of the table where Rawls sat holding court, and gave it right back. With every jab from Rawls came an equally enthusiastic counter.
Despite a decent showing by Drew League fans, the crowd heavily favored the hometown Goodman League. Even D.C.’s own Mayor Vincent Gray showed up to support the game, and unsurprisingly chose a favorite.
“I gotta go local,” he said when we asked who he was rooting for. “I gotta go Goodman.”
The Goodman League walked away with the 135-134 victory and the unofficial smack-talk trophy. But a rumored game in L.A. in September will give the Drew League a chance to even the score in both categories.
As long as they can keep Rawls off the microphone.
John Wall laughs Miles Rawls gives it to DeRozan.