We’ve seen these guys play each other in no-defense, high-flying pro-am exhibitions that included a lot of middle-of-the road players. But during what would have been the first couple of weeks of the NBA season, a legitimate NBA All-Star team could be globe-trotting in a six-game exhibition tour.
In a trip that could resemble Team USA’s takeover of the world stage at the 2008 Beijing Games, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Rajon Rondo, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Carlos Boozer, Paul Pierce and Kevin Love are among the players expected to participate. Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett, among a few others, are also contemplating joining the tour.
[…] The tour, scheduled to begin Oct. 30 and end Nov. 9, will make stops in Puerto Rico, London, Macau, and Australia. Each game will be staged in an arena that holds at least 15,000 fans. Two games each will be played at sites in London and Australia.
I would expect it would still be a lot of no-defense and high-flying stuff, but this time it will be All-Star caliber players doing it. My question is, will the international audience buy the “ok, now let me get of YOUR way so YOU can dunk” game. I could be wrong here, but I think international fans will actually want to see these guys play a LITTLE defense. Otherwise, you might as well have these guys go on a six-country All-Star Skills Competition tour.
The other twist in this tour:
The players will be paid, receiving salaries ranging from six figures up to $1 million, sources said. Some of the money generated by the tour will be donated to charity.
Some of the money?
In 1998, the NBPA played an exhibition game in Atlantic City to raise money for locked out players… which pissed a few people off. Charity game for millionaire athletes?
You can pay for these guys to fly around the world, stay in nice hotels, and eat fine foods. But paying them more money on top of that with “some” going to charity might not look very good.
I hope they handle this correctly.