Week 1 is in the books, and from the looks of things, the new location hasn’t changed the excitement level of the crowd nor the gritty intensity of the games. Our 2021 debut was a star-studded, Father’s Day affair on Sunday, as stars like Baron Davis, Lonzo Ball, and Nick Young showed up to take in a full day of games that saw some real nail-biters like Cheaters vs. Undisputed and Hometown Favorites vs. Young Citi.
Of course, since it was the first week after a long hiatus, there was some rust to knock off; a handful of games ended in blowouts as returning teams, confident in their ability to eventually lock in playoff berths, gave away their season openers to learn more about themselves and their expected opponents. Meanwhile, newcomers Saints looked to establish themselves as one of the teams to beat, turning in the weekend’s top-scoring effort with 98 points in a win over Legacy Legends Sunday.
The first Player of the Week award of 2021 was well-earned by 2016 co-MVP Patrick Rembert, who put up 44 points in a 82-69 win over Tuff Crowd, including a perfect 18-of-18 from the free throw line, in his debut for Redemption. He’s long played for coach Keion Kindred, but this is his first year running with the former champion Redemption squad, and it looks like he’s aiming to be an asset early.
Now that teams have gotten used to the new digs and seen some of the competition, it’s time to knuckle down, though. With such a short season, every game counts, so the time for fresh teams to pick up wins is now, while some veteran groups are incomplete and working their way into form. It won’t be long before longtime vets and big-name stars arrive and the summer only gets hotter — as will the competition.