Tag: World All Star Classic

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Puerto Rico World All-Star game postponed, stick fork in tour

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So much for that “see how much money we can make without the NBA” tour.

After seemingly half the stars in the World All-Star Classic constellation pulled out in the past week, the first game — scheduled for Sunday in Puerto Rico — and the entire series now has been sucked into a black hole. Sadly just hours after the NBA labor talks blew up — apparently the basketball gods don’t want us to watch games.

Ric Bucher at ESPN has the report:

The six-game, four-continent World All-Star Classic exhibition tour featuring two squads of All-Star NBA players is on hold, with Sunday’s scheduled game in San Juan, Puerto Rico, postponed indefinitely, sources said.

The other five games on the tour, scheduled for London, Macau and Australia, already had been pushed back until late November, sources said. There was hope the game in San Juan could be salvaged and serve as proof to the other venues and investors that Atlanta businessman Cal Darden and his son, Cal, Jr., were capable of pulling off the event.

First it was Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook who pulled out before even the official announcement went out. That was followed by LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony backing out, then just in the last 24 hours it was Dwight Howard’s turn to get out. Kevin Durant was rumored to be on the fence — and he’s played anywhere and everywhere this summer. With the players being promised six figures and up to $1 million to do the tour (and giving them a platform to promote their brand internationally), for them to bail means something smelled fishy to them and their agents.

Some big names were still attached — Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Kevin Garnett — but that was not going to be enough.

Part of the players backing out seemed to be tied to optimism around the finalizing of an NBA labor deal. Now that has blown up again, at least for a little while, and it remains to be seen if that can breathe a little more life into it.

Probably not. It was a grandiose plan, but it has fallen like a Jenga tower. And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men….

Dwight Howard latest to pull out of World All-Star Classic

Orlando Magic v Chicago Bulls

And the players keep dropping out the World All-Star Classic set to start in Puerto Rico Sunday (Oct. 30) like it was some hastily thrown together event that was never going to live up to the hype.

The latest is Dwight Howard, the Orlando Sentinel reports. They spoke to his agent who confirms the news.

If you want to take this as a sign the lockout is nearing an end, go ahead. I think it may be as much a sign of the tour itself.

Early on Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook were on the list, but they were off when the tour made its official announcement of the Puerto Rico game. After that LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony pulled out after having been announced as participating.

Officially Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Durant are in among others (although the rumor is he is 50/50).

And if you live in London, Macau or Melbourne — the next stops the tour was supposed to make in the coming weeks — I wouldn’t be cancelling a date to clear the calendar.

World All Star Classic tour will go on, minus a few stars

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It will be the biggest summer showcase yet — what the promoters are humbly calling a “showcase of unprecedented proportions” — with a galaxy of NBA stars.

Just ignore the few black holes.

Even after some defections there will be a World All-Star Classic tour, starting in Puerto Rico on Oct. 30 (Sunday). From there the tour has been scheduled to go on to London, Macau and Melbourne, Australia but none of those games has been confirmed. Meaning, if you live in Australia I wouldn’t plop down money on tickets quite yet.

It is a tour with star power — Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Carlos Boozer and Tyson Chandler are all in. Chris Kaman, too. Can’t leave off Kaman.

But LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul are out (as is Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook). That dimmed the star power, but the show must go on.

Tickets for the Puerto Rico game will go on sale Thursday, promoters said. Team captains will select teams for the game, like on a schoolyard. Which should be entertaining (our man Ira Winderman asks what happens if Wade chooses Stoudemire over Bosh?).

If you want to see it… well, I don’t know what to tell you yet. The promoters are trying to line up television broadcast rights both globally and back to the United States. Said promoters have spoken to a number of entities that do not hold national NBA rights — including Comcast regionals, Fox and CBS — but as of now there are no deals, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. (That may be a tough sell as no company that may want to bid on future rights wants to cross the NBA on this.)

But you can bet there will be live streaming. And highlight packages. And little to no defense. Still, at least it’s a distraction while the NBA lockout talks drag on.

Report: LeBron, ‘Melo, Chris Paul pull out of international tour

LeBron James, Chris Paul

You know that big planned international tour of players going all over the globe? The World All-Star Classic? The legs may have just come out from under it.

LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul all have pulled out of it at the last minute, tweets ESPN’s Chris Broussard. This was on top of Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook having pulled out previously.

Darren Rovell of CNBC tweeted this on the same topic:

Reason LeBron not playing in NBA stars World Tour? Says he wants to train & spend time with family.

There are still other big names attached to the tour, including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett, but it’s going to be hard to keep sponsors involved after some of the biggest names have pulled out. (UPDATE: Durant’s people now say he is 50/50.)

You get the feeling the Jenga tower that was this tour is about to collapse.

Tickets — starting at $50 and going up to more than $450 — had already been on sale for the first game of the tour, Sunday in Puerto Rico. Those ticket sales have been suspended. The tour is then scheduled to move on to London, Macau and Melbourne, Australia.

All these stars pulling out on the same day there is rumors of progress on the NBA labor front could lead one to be optimistic about the NBA getting its act together. Maybe, although reports suggest the two are not related. It is not only completely possible but likely this tour would simply collapse under its own weight.

Big names lined up for “World All-Star Classic” tour (but not Rose)

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers

The world-traveling exhibition tour that will feature a number of NBA players will get underway Saturday in Puerto Rico, with plenty of highlights to follow. Not a lot of defense, but a lot of highlights.

And we’re starting to get a list of who is on board, via Chris Broussard at ESPN.

Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant will headline the roster of 18 all-star players, sources said.

The remaining 14 players will be announced Wednesday. LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Boozer, Tyson, Steve Nash, Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo and Chris Kaman are among the candidates.

Not on that list? Derrick Rose. Someone originally mentioned but now not in, as Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com reports.

“The scheduling was just too tough,” Rose told reporters prior to an exhibition game on an Air Force base (in Hawaii, where Rose is part of a USO tour with other NBA players).

Also not on the list is Russell Westbrook. Still, that is some pretty wild firepower and will be a big international draw. It will have no impact on the lockout negotiations, but it’s another interesting distraction.

The tour will start Saturday in Puerto Rico then Puerto Rico is scheduled to move on to London, Macau and Melbourne, Australia. Another date may be added. Players are expected to be paid at least six figures and in some cases up to $1 million for the series.