While the NBA lockout continues to deny us of basketball, the players have been doing what they can to give something back to the fans that are missing out on their favorite sport. There have been all different kinds of charity and exhibition games held all over the country that have featured numerous NBA players, like the one played here in South Florida a couple weeks ago that was hosted by Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
The next such game is this Sunday in Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant is hosting the event and he'll be playing along with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Amare Stoudemire and Russell Westbrook. While I'm sure this will draw a big crowd in the OKC area, all these non-NBA related games have been held in smaller arenas because they cant take place in any building that has a connection to the NBA.
Now it's looking like the players are finding a way to not only play these exhibition games in bigger venues, but also take the game to fans all around the world. A large group of NBA stars are planning to participate in a 6-game world tour, taking the game to fans outside of the United State who are also basketball deprived but don't have the luxury of watching these superstars play 82+ times a year.
The tour will run from October 30th through November 9th and visit places such as Australia, London, China and Puerto Rico. Along with Wade, LeBron and Bosh, the list of all-stars that are reported to be going on this tour is pretty sick. According to an ESPN report, possible participants include Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Amare Stoudemire, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce and Carlos Boozer.
Players will be signing contracts in order to participate in this tour and their compensation will range from the high six-figure range to over $1 million per player...plus expenses. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have already signed their contracts, according to the ESPN report, with LeBron James expected to follow suit shortly.
I'm hoping that these games find their way on to some television network so we can see the traveling tour of all-star games here at home. Expect the games to be typical all-starish types with high scoring and low defense. Highlight reel dunks and no-look passes in font of packed arenas that are built to hold 15-20 thousand fans. Yup...should be a whole lot of fun. But enough fun to make fans forget that those players should be playing in NBA games instead?