NBA players throughout the league are cancelling plans and preparing to get back to work as the lockout, going strong since July 1st, is seemingly on the brink of ending. With that in mind, players scheduled to host and take place in ‘lockout all-star games' are cancelling the contests, knowing that with the league-wide work stoppage coming to a close they will be getting back to their ‘real' jobs very soon.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were set to join Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, hosting games in the four players' ‘homecoming' tour, but they have since called off the games. Instead, the four all-stars were in Brooklyn, New York handing out 800 meals and participating in a youth clinic.
Mario Chalmers also cancelled a lockout exhibition game that he was set to host. It was going to take place in Anchorage, Alaska and along with Chalmers was going to feature Heat teammates Chris Bosh and Dexter Pittman. Rio is hoping to reschedule the event for next August in an attempt to bring some NBA-level basketball entertainment to Alaska, where Chalmers was born.
As people involved with the NBA all over the place begin to get in regular season mode, from players to coaches to journalists, attention is starting to shift back towards the Miami Heat as a favorite to win a championship. Coming along with those kind of predictions and expectations, and appropriately so, players around the league are looking to Miami as a potential home for the upcoming season.
So far the main names that have come up are center Samuel Dalembert and forwards Caron Butler and Shane Battier, all of whom would fall in the Heat's price range and are likely good fits as complimentary players on Miami's roster. Dalembert came right out and said how happy he would be to play for the Heat, going as far as saying that Miami may have fared better in the NBA Finals against Dallas had he, or a player like him, been on the roster.
There are plenty of free agents this off-season that could help the Heat, but how many of them would be willing to take less money in order to compete for a championship in Miami? We saw several players willing to go that route last summer, so hopefully that trend continues in the coming weeks. We'll just have to wait and see...