It’s obviously just meant to be a funny mock interview between two teammates, but Jonas Valanciunas’ “It’s been fu**ed, man” comments to DeMar DeRozan about Summer League have gotten some play around the internet today, especially through social media.
Valanciunas also pokes fun at teammates Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy and jokes that he won’t take anything from his first Summer League experience.
Here’s the thing, while Jonas may have been joking around in a general sense and while I imagine the team might mention something to him about videos like this in the future, the Raptors big man has a point.
As most people will rightfully remind you almost daily during Summer League play, nothing should be taken from Summer League statistics and performances. I’m much more excited about the fact that Valanciunas has bulked up, that he’s learning how to deal with double-teams or that he’s been finishing with both his right and left hand on occasion around the basket than I am that he dropped 23 points in a given game.
That’s what Summer League analysis should be about, finding samples of development in a player’s game, not pointing to distorted statistical contributions as a reason to believe a generally useless NBA player or a veteran 10-day contract guy is ready to break out.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the low pressure games or getting excited to watch your team’s favourite youngsters during traditional off-season time, but at the end of the day, as DeRozan points out, “Summer League is just Summer League,” so don’t put any stock in the numbers and don’t be surprised when players like Valanciunas joke around about it.
(Sidenote: How do Valanciunas’ teammates still not know that his name is pronounced with a soft J?)
For what it’s worth, the Raptors finished as the No. 6 seed after round robin play and will take on the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between the Pelicans and the Nuggets on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. on NBATV Canada.