In a sure sign that the lockout continues to drag on, the charity game/pro-am circuit is going strong this weekend on both coasts.
Saturday night in Miami pretty much all of the NBA stars in the Nike galaxy will play in a LeBron vs. Wade charity game at Florida International University.
But the game that will have more passion and pride behind it is Sunday night on the other coast.
In Long Beach — the funky city pinned between Los Angeles and Orange County, where the NBA Summer League was hosted for years (and where your humber author lives) — the L.A. based Drew League will get its rematch against the Washington D.C. based Goodman League.
These two played earlier this summer in a one-point win in D.C. for Goodman, one where Drew League players didn’t know you couldn’t foul out and felt they got some bad calls at the end. They wanted a rematch right away.
Now they have it.
Scheduled to suit up for Goodman are Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, John Wall, Michael Beasley and DeMarcus Cousins. For Drew it’s James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Nick young, and Brandon Jennings. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
This has been the summer of the pro-am games — NBA players have always stepped in for a few games here and there in these leagues. But this summer, locked out of their team facilities, NBA guys have showed up in larger numbers. It’s created a real grass-roots buzz. It’s been fun to watch, in part because offense dominates defense in these games that are more pickup than structure.
Both games this weekend should be entertaining. Of course, what should be happening Sunday is the first of the NBA’s official preseason games (that’s when they were scheduled). All the guys in this game should be in training camps instead. We should be gearing up for real NBA basketball.
We’re not. So we have Drew vs. Goodman rematch. Which promises to be a little ray of warm sunshine through the clouds of the lockout.
October 9 was to be the day of the first NBA preseason games. They haven’t been officially cancelled, but good luck finding anyone who thinks there will be games that night.
But there will be a game that evening — the rematch of the Goodman and Drew leagues.
From the moment they walked off the court, the guys from the Los Angeles-based Drew League wanted a rematch with the Washington D.C. based Goodman League. The two had played what had been the biggest showdown in the summer of pro-am league showdowns. Goodman won 135-134 but Drew players complained they did not know you couldn’t foul out and there were some borderline calls at the end.
However, attempts to pull it together fell apart and seemed dead.
Now the two sides have reached a deal, according to tweets from both Drew and Goodman officials. Goodman was to play a Seattle-based team that day but that is now trying to be rescheduled for a week later, Oct. 16, according to the USA Today.
No word on the players yet, officially. Drew League usually brings James Harden, Brandon Jennings and they have had conversations with Kobe Bryant (if he’s LA enough for Jennings). Goodman brings Kevin Durant and a host of guys. This should be fun… I’d rather be at an NBA preseason game that night (meaning the season was coming on schedule) but this should be entertaining.
It was the game that started the buzz — West Coast vs. East Coast, Los Angeles vs. Washington D.C., Goodman League vs. Drew League. It was the game that set the stage for Goodman vs. Melo and soon Goodman vs. Rucker.
The Drew League wanted a rematch — Drew lost by 1 point, there was questionable officiating, and the Drew League guys were never told you can’t even foul out of the game. A couple of days ago, the Drew League tweeted that the rematch was coming.
Not so much. The rematch is not happening, according to the official Drew League twitter account.
Drew kept our promise but Goodman League did not so as of right now there will NOT be a rematch game in LA. We have moved on so stay tune.
Dont worry we figured they was gonna flake out, we already have other things line up, i will keep you guys posted!
Goodman is lined up to play Rucker Park in New York. But they are not playing Drew, which has some other stunt up its sleeve. Sorry James Harden, you don’t get a second shot at Durant… well, not until training camps open.
After a one-point loss on the wrong coast, Los Angeles-based Drew League players and officials said they wanted a rematch with the Washington D.C.-based Goodman League. This time on their turf.
Drew League officials are working to pull together a Sept. 10 event in Los Angeles, which is not a lot of time to get sponsors and arrange the details. And sponsors will not jump on and write checks until this is a sure thing. It is not yet.
Adding Kobe Bryant would make it a sure thing.
Which is why Drew League officials will be at Kobe’s door on Tuesday trying to talk him into playing, reports Mark Medina at the Los Angeles Times.
“I think he wants to play because he’s hungry like that,” Drew League Commissioner Oris “Dino” Smiley said of Bryant late Monday evening in a phone interview. “We have some real solid basketball and it’s well organized. I think he wants to be a part of it….”
Smiley argued Bryant’s appearance won’t necessarily dictate whether the Goodman League and Drew League can organize a rematch. They are, after all, only four days removed from a competitive and controversial game where the Goodman League won, 135-134, before a standing-room only crowd at Trinity University in Washington D.C.
Drew players and backers had questions about the officiating at the end of that game. Actually, that’s putting it nicely, they think they got screwed on a call that D.C. native Kevin Durant got that sent him to the line to hit two game-winning free throws. Then James Harden didn’t get a call on a last-second shot to win it at the other end.
Kobe did play in one Drew League game this year, a very special game.
Putting it simply — if Kobe is in this game is happening. He alone will draw the players and make potential sponsors drool. If he is out, it could still happen but Smiley has a much tougher road to travel. And not much time to do it either way.