BY PETER HAILEY
The NBA Summer League is a place where young players trying to break into the Association get a chance to prove their worth. Rosters of the teams playing during the summer are usually made up of first and second-round draft picks, undrafted free agents, international prospects, and other young guys trying to show NBA scouts they belong in basketball's premier league.
Every once in a while, however, an older veteran will make an appearance on one of the teams, in an attempt to get back into the NBA after an injury or being released. Former DeMatha High School star Keith Bogans falls in the latter category, and on Tuesday, news came out that the 35-year-old will be playing for the Blazers' Summer League squad after being out of the sport for a year-and-a-half:
Keith Bogans is 35-years-old, playing Summer League for Portland. Hasn't been in an official game in 2015.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) July 7, 2015
Bogans, who has played 11 seasons in the NBA, has been a journeyman during that decade-plus run. He has suited up for the Magic, Bobcats, Bucks, Spurs, Bulls, Nets, and Celtics. And according to this article from the Blazers website, he's just looking for a chance to return to the sport he's played for so long.
"To me, I’m not even looking at it (as a tryout)," he said. "I’m happy to be back around the game. I was going crazy for a year-and-a-half, contemplating. I said, ‘This year, I’ll come back and give it a fresh start.’"
Of course, being 35 years old makes Bogans a bit different from most of the players he'll be sharing the court with. Tidbits like this are bound to sprout up anytime a situation similar to this one develops:
What stands out from the Blazers Summer League roster: 35-year-old Keith Bogans. Noah Vonleh is 19. Bogans was driving when Vonleh was born.
— Dusty Harrah (@Dusty_Harrah) July 7, 2015
Whether Bogans makes Portland's regular season roster remains to be seen, but for a team that's lost 80% of their starting five, you'd think there's at least a decent chance of him doing so. At the very least, he'll be able to teach the other players on the team about things they don't know about, such as what life was like without the Internet and how good the first Star Wars trilogy was.