Los Angeles Lakers: Ike Diogu

Drew League has long history of showing its charm

July, 9, 2011
Moura By Pedro Moura

LOS ANGELES – A lightning-quick 5-9 college guard named Casper outplayed Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden.

Former NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans' team lost handily to a team with no current NBA players.

But the highlight of Saturday’s Drew League play at Colonel Leon H. Washington Park in Florence was even more … righteous.

The man the locals call Jesus provided the most entertaining action of a thoroughly entertaining eight-hour Saturday at the Drew League, coming in from the free-throw line to pick up a teammate's errant shot attempt and tip-reverse-dunk it in for a miraculous, monstrous slam that had the crowd buzzing for a good 10 minutes.

It was emblematic of what people have come to expect from the Drew League, generally considered one of the top summer-league outfits around.

“You can't find this level of basketball anywhere in the U.S. besides here,” says Jesus, also known as David Patten, an Orange County native who played collegiately for Pepperdine and Weber State and now plays professionally in Mexico. “This is fantastic basketball.”

Your first question: How did he pick up the nickname?

Patten, a dunk contest competitor in college who has long surprised people with his dunking abilities, has played in the Drew League for three of the last four summers. His first year, a homeless woman walked into the gymnasium at Washington Park and was impressed by the high-flying acrobatics she saw from him.

“She didn’t know who I was, but I’m white and I had a beard and long hair,” Patten, 27, says now. “So she called me Jesus.”

Since its inception in 1973, stories like that one have always been part of the charm of the Drew League. And, while that's largely staying the same this summer, the talent level has taken a big jump as NBA players flock to a mostly-nondescript park in South L.A. to log some time on the basketball court.

“I mean, it's definitely like this because of the lockout,” says Bobby Brown, a former Cal State Fullerton guard who spent parts of two seasons in the NBA and now plays in Greece. “Everybody wants to come out here and play. We had a few NBA guys last year, but this year it's getting a lot better.”

Saturday was Evans' first go at it in the Drew, but he was joining his Kings teammate Pooh Jeter, who has played in it for most of the summer. The Lakers' Steve Blake, Shannon Brown and Ron Artest have all played this summer, as has the Clippers' Craig Smith, and Ike Diogu plans to soon join him. Baron Davis has promised he'll make an appearance at some point. Kevin Durant caused a stir when he came last month and shut the gym down with a pass-to-himself dunk, but there a number of other NBA'ers of varying profile levels, usually with some sort of Los Angeles ties.

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Lakers collapse vs. Clippers: Seven minutes of... not heaven

January, 17, 2011
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
With 7:12 to play in Sunday's loss to Clippers at Staples, the Lakers held a reasonably comfortable seven point lead. At the final buzzer, the Clippers had a seven point win. That's a 14 point swing, really 16 because the Lakers finished the game with a Shannon Brown layup meaningless to all who didn't start him on their fantasy team.

So what went wrong? Particularly considering the Clips had scored all of two points in the quarter to that point . . . and would go on to pile up 29 the rest of the way?

Here's the play-by-play...

7:12- With six seconds left on the shot clock, the Clippers inbound along the baseline. Baron Davis shoots down from the top of the key, guarded by Brown. Kobe Bryant, who was defending the pass on the restart, helps on Baron as well. Davis makes a nice pass to Ryan Gomes -- who inbounded the ball -- in the right corner, forcing Ron Artest (guarding Randy Foye on the wing) to rotate down. Gomes makes a nice pass to Foye, who drifted back to the top of the floor behind the arc. Foye shoots over Kobe, who can't recover in time. As Ralph Lawler would say, "Bingo."

77-73, Lakers.

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images
Eric Gordon scored 30 and was red hot late Sunday when the Clippers beat the Lakers.

7:00- Brown brings the ball up the right wing, leaving it for Lamar Odom. Odom swings to Artest at the top of the key. Brown pops up to the right wing from the lane off a double screen of Odom and Pau Gasol, and Artest hits him in stride. Shannon shoots . . . in and out. No penetration on the play, but Brown did get a clean look.

6:40- Davis up the center of the floor guarded by Brown. Griffin sets a screen, which Davis uses going to his left. Odom and Shannon both go with Davis, who swings the ball back weakside to Foye, set up beyond the arc on the right wing. He shoots over a closing Artest and misses. The long rebound goes to Kobe, who smartly feeds a streaking Brown down the right wing as the Lakers push in transition. Foye foils Brown's dunk attempt, fouling him in the process.

Shannon makes both freebies. 79-73, LAL. Stay tuned.

6:20- Out of a timeout, Vinny Del Negro gets Eric Gordon back in the game. Smart move. Davis walks the ball up the center of the floor, tossing a pass to Griffin near the right elbow. Griffin drifts to his left, and leaves for Gordon coming off a screen. Gordon, near the left elbow, draws Artest and Odom, and passes back to the top of the key to Griffin, who swings left to Davis on the left wing. Baron penetrates to the lane around a Griffin screen, kicking to Foye in the right corner. Foye penetrates baseline, kicks back to Davis center court just above the arc. By now, the shot clock is running down, but the Lakers are scrambling. As Artest tries to close on Davis, he makes a nice touch pass to Gordon on the right wing.

Artest, asked to guard two players at once, tries to close but can't get there in time. Three pointer. Very good patience, very good ball movement from the Clippers. 79-76, Lakers.

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Nick Young
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
ReboundsP. Gasol 9.7
AssistsK. Marshall 8.8
StealsJ. Meeks 1.4
BlocksP. Gasol 1.5