Try telling Antonio Blakeney that Summer League doesn't matter.
The guard's strong play in Las Vegas over the last week earned him a Two-Way contract with the Bulls, meaning he can play for both the G League's Windy City Bulls and in the NBA.
Blakeney, 20, has appeared in four Summer League games, averaging 16.8 points, five rebounds and just under one steal per contest. It's pretty safe to say that he's been one of the squad's few bright spots in Sin City. While fellow guard Denzel Valentine has struggled to find his shooting rhythm, connecting on under 30 percent from the field this summer, Blakeney has shot 43.8 percent.
He didn't come out of nowhere, though. Blakeney had tons of hype out of Oak Ridge High School in Florida and was selected to play in the McDonald's All-American Game before taking his talents to LSU, where joining forced with 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons. That experiment didn't quite work out for Blakeney, who failed to reach the NCAA Tournament in both seasons and went undrafted in 2017.
For the Bulls, it's a chance to take a flyer on a young, athletic guard who proved he can shoot in college.
It also gives fans more chances to catch his absolutely nasty dunks, whether it's in Hoffman Estates or at the United Center.
That's just ridiculous.
On an emergency edition of our Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, Will Perdue and Vincent Goodwill react to the Bobby Portis-Nikola Mirotic fight in practice.
Hear what Vincent’s sources are telling him what happened, plus the group discusses how the fight will likely impact the team now — and in the long-term. Will also shares his story on why Michael Jordan punched him during a practice.
Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:
Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic were involved in an altercation that resulted in Mirotic suffering two broken bones in his face after Portis punched him, according to sources.
Mirotic, who’s out indefinitely, was evaluated for a concussion and taken to a hospital, where he was released but was apparently a bit out of it, according to a source. The altercation began with pushing and shoving between the two before Mirotic lunged forward at Portis and Portis hit Mirotic, sending him to the floor.
“I’ve seen worse,” a witness said.
Mirotic was taken to the training room and Portis went to the other side of the floor.
Apparently the two have had testy moments since Portis entered the league in 2015. The two play the same position and have battled for minutes, with Portis often getting the short end in the rotation.
Where this leaves Portis with the Bulls for the immediate future as far as a suspension is unknown.
But what was supposed to be a so-called nondescript season has suddenly put the spotlight on the players and the coaching staff, who’ll have to navigate the relationship between the two teammates.